If a cockroach is in your apartment, and you aren’t looking at it, is it touching everything you love?
When cockroaches enter my air conditioned sanctuary, I feel violated on a level that can only be described as first world horror.
Once seen, a cockroach cannot be unseen.
At least, not for me. Or at least, not for weeks.
My civilized mind, suddenly disrupted by a sighting of nature’s grossest survivor, starts getting imagined flashbacks of that cockroach purposefully touching every household item I use on a daily basis.
The involuntary thought exercise provides some excellent insight into my brain. For instance, I almost always visualize the cockroach on my toothbrush. Which is wholly out of the way for a meandering bug, but always becomes the first object I picture defiled.
“Meh heh heh,” he laughs (of course it’s a boy). “Your teeth are being cleaned by an item my germy body has scrambled over.”
Recently, I’ve been picturing the cockroach hanging out inside my laundry hamper. Comforted by my favorite skirts and dresses.
“You can wash these dirty clothes,” he warns, “but you’ll never erase the memory of my body wrapped inside this cotton.”
I even spent 5 minutes trying to explain to my irrational brain how unlikely it was that the unholy intruder snuck a ride to work with me, just to dip its legs into my cup of coffee.
“Not even work coffee can save you,” he taunts.
Every dark shadow in an unlit room becomes the bug. All draped fabric becomes its hiding hole. It watches me from a safe distance. Waiting for me to drop my guard, so it can come scrambling into my living nightmares.
Cockroaches that invade my apartment are chaotic evil.
I can’t even try to work my imagination for my benefit and believe that the cockroach has safely exited my apartment, having found the glorious dumpster universe just across the parking lot.
No, Schrodinger’s Cockroach will never leave me. He now exists and doesn’t exist in every happy memory I have ever had.