• Emily Arden Design

killer of things

I have become a violent and haphazard killer of cucaracha.

When I lived in Philadelphia and they would scamper through my kitchen, I would Dyson them up. That is - I learned I could vacuum them with the attachment, so as to remain as far away as possible, while also ensuring I was removing them from what I, human, considered my space. I can’t do that here.

If you’re reading my only two travel posts, you’d think I am fixated on deceased wildlife. In fact, exactly the opposite. I became a vegetarian at eight years old, once I understood I was eating characters from Charlotte’s Web. I remain a vegetarian to this day. And perhaps that’s why I’ve chosen to use this as my sort of confessional - because I feel such disgust for myself, for my killing spree. And yet, they can’t stay here. Not with me here.

I’m really bad at it - at least, not precise. And if you happened to catch a glimpse through the patio doors, you’d wonder if I was having some kind of episode. Flailing about, making sporadic movements, hopping up and down. At least I'm not screaming.

Shoes work best - a flat, hard sandal surface. They work best when attached to my foot, so as to stomp. Swiftly. But as you can imagine, I very much dislike the idea that I might feel the thing crunch under my foot. So I’ve tried dust pan (too flexible / they escape), trash can (not a flat surface on the bottom, I discovered! / they escape). So now I’m trying the shoe method / without it being attached to my foot. It means I have to get far too close to the thing for my comfort. At least it’s working, with mild success.

Then comes the act of having to dispose of it. And this is where I must confess even more - that I leave them for several days / hidden beneath the shoe, or a paper towel if I need to wear my shoe / before I muster up the courage to sweep them into the dust pan and finally into the trash. How absurd this is, I know it. And yet, it’s the only way I’ve yet been able to function.

There are traps in my airbnb - which I initially thought were for ants but now realize are for my nemesis, these dreaded and ginormous hard-shelled creatures. When they get to the trap before I get to them, they seem to then make it a foot or so, and flip themselves over to die. Why do they flip over?

I don’t intend to google it - for that would surely bring up photos - but I do wonder, what the natural order of things is that renders them upside down and unable to move, just prior to death. A few times, though, they have appeared to be dead but to my dismay, have begun wiggling legs and body again, in one last attempt at life.

You’d think this was all I was spending my time on, while here in this beautiful paradise - killing insects. So I’d like to offer up exhibit b, as evidence otherwise.

This little beach lady came up to me today, and promptly fell asleep by my feet. When she awoke, she took off after a moving boat, barking all the way. My mom and I think she simply needed a safe place to rest for a few moments, and knew she would have it - a moment of safety - there next to me.

Tomorrow is cleaning day in the apartment. Wish me luck.

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