A roach has been dying on my bathroom floor for two days. Lying on it’s back with it’s underbelly exposed I imagine it feels vulnerable as it waves it’s legs about in an effort to overturn itself. I think a couple of its legs are missing or maybe only one. I haven’t counted them but it looks like there are less on one side than the other. Sometimes when I go in there the roach is completely still and I think it’s dead but then it’s as if I’ve awakened it because the antenna begin waving around as if it’s smelling the air with them and it knows I’m there. I sit on the toilet and contemplate the roach and its plight and what part I might play in it.
Why has this roach been lying on my floor for two days, you ask. I don’t pick up live roaches and I don’t step on live roaches. The crunchy sound it makes creeps me out almost as much as the thought of picking one up does. Normally my husband picks up the occasional errant house roach and lets it loose outside (he’s soft-hearted like that) but I haven’t told him about the roach in my bathroom. I don’t know why. Looking at it makes me think of death and that makes me wonder what happens when death occurs and where you, your essence as a human being, go after death. I sit on the toilet and ponder the plight of the roach. Does it feel? Is it in pain? Does it wonder why I don’t simply flip it over so maybe it will limp away on it’s less than adequate number of legs? Maybe its wilding waving antenna would help it balance itself enough to reach a crack where it can get away from the big thing that sits and stares at it.
Maybe it will die tonight or tomorrow and come back in my dreams with tales of a bright new world where roaches and people and every living thing are equal in every way. Or maybe it just ceases to be, like it never existed at all.