No research/background check re: cockroaches, insects, etc. has been conducted prior to this blog post. All knowledge re: cockroaches, insects, etc. is based on stock knowledge/Animal Planet reruns. Expect factual errors. Also, I’m basing everything I’ve thought of here on that experience alone. Weee.
I am a killer.
I’ve snuffed out the lives of hundreds, maybe even thousands or millions, of cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, ants, centipedes, millipedes and various other invertebrae. You could say that I’ve become some sort of “expert” on these kinds of things, able to choose from a wide arsenal of “weapons” to kill with. From the humble slipper, which with one precise hit can squish a bug into a pile of blood and guts, to the more technologically-advanced Baygon spray a.k.a. can of death, which with a single spray can drain the life out of a cockroach, second by painful second.
Don’t get me wrong on this one. I don’t take joy in killing insects. In fact, the feeling that I got this evening when I took the life of a cockroach with a well-placed swat and when I saw its antennae still tingling despite the fact that its body was crushed to bits is quite a different feeling from joy, far from it, actually. In fact, I would not be writing this post if I didn’t feel that way.
When I killed that cockroach, I wasn’t thinking of how that cockroach might have had a family to support, that it had to get its kids through college, or had to pay the rent, or some other form of trying to personify a cockroach for comic effect. What was going on in my mind was, “Cockroach. Kill. Kill. Kill. Eww. Hmm. I should eat something later. Maybe finish that tub of popcorn,” or something along those lines. I knew that I had to kill it because it was a pest, or rather was taught to believe that it was a pest. It had to be eliminated because it was a dirty, contaminated organism, packed with germs. It was a pest in my mom’s bathroom, I thought. I had to kill it.
So I got my mom’s slipper (I left my slipper in my room) and proceeded to swat that dirty sonuvagun to a pulp, rather, twice until I saw no more movement in its legs. Afterwards I got a piece of paper and scooped up my victim. Upon closer inspection (yes this post is getting grosser and grosser) I saw a slight movement in its antennae. Call me crazy, but it looked like it was saying goodbye. Or something like that. But that movement, whether it was natural for a cockroach to still be able to move in spite of having its guts physically outside its body or not, made its mark on me. That “goodbye”, however overthought it may be, meant something to me.
Cliche thoughts of death, the fragility of life, and a lot of other things suddenly came to mind. I’d like to say that I suddenly felt something like “Oh God this cockroach has a life, and all life is precious,” blabbity blah. But no. I acknowledged that it had a life, but did it really know its purpose for living? Did it have some sort of idea as to why it was alive? I’m thinking it’s safe to assume that it didn’t, and relied solely on instinct to get through the day.
And that made me think of myself and my life. Yes this experience, this cockroach, is quickly turning into an allegory for my life. Would I be like the cockroach forever, never knowing why I’m truly here? Death is waiting for me, I am sure of it. There is a slipper, or a can of Baygon, out there, waiting to take my life away.
I remember one particular experience I had with a cockroach, back when I was still in high school. I was in our kitchen, then suddenly this EFFING COCKROACH FLIES STRAIGHT AT ME AND I WAS LIKE, “ANMAGRJHSDKHGANFKJAHSNJK SHIT IT’S FLYING HAVE MERCY.” That was one cockroach I will never forget. It flew, man. Flew. Now after watching that other cockroach “say goodbye”, I’m thinking I don’t want to just die (although I can’t really tell since I didn’t know the cockroach for its whole life; again, I’m only basing this on what I saw/knew, and what happened. This is a free-flowing barrage of my thoughts okay, and I do not want to restrain it in any way,) like that cockroach. I WANT TO FLY (in the metaphorical sense of the word.)
…Yes this is basically a rewording of my first blog post, except with bugs.