Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Bug Killer

I was in my bathroom and saw a couple of *water cockroaches* - they're not the regular ones, like I see trying to zip across my kitchen floor, they're different. They only hang around the bathroom, in the shower, or when they're still real tiny, in and around the sink.
Last year they first appeared, this little one that ran around my bathroom sink. The first time I saw it I must have been drunk because I looked at it for a long time, watching it closely. It must have detected my presence, but it didn't run right out of sight - it ran a little way in one direction, then another. It seemed pretty stupid, this poor simple little bug trying to get away, but with no idea, which made me feel something for it, and how could I possibly harm it?
So I let it be.
Night after night when I went in there, I would see this little guy running around my bathroom sink, get up close to it and talk to it. Yes. I'd talk to it. It ran this way and that, trying to hide under a sliver of soap, which was completely transparent. He (maybe it was a she, how would I know?) was my little bathroom sink pal. To him, I was God. I had power over whether he lived or died. Most people, I imagined, would kill it immediately and think nothing of it. I chose to let him live.
Well, I think he disappeared or something, for a while, then later I discovered what may have been him, but considerably larger, and now running around my shower. And he had started a family. There was another big one like him - his wife, I guess - and a bunch of kids.
I massacred the entire family in the space of a minute.
I don't abide *chemical weapons* - I've always found the idea of spraying bugs with a can too easy. You can spray a lethal cloud of bug poison and walk away, removing yourself from the act of dealing death. If I'm going to kill a bug it will be up close and personal. You see, I don't feel good about killing bugs, even cockroaches... well sometimes I like killing cockroaches, but not always. Most of the time I wish I didn't have to. Anyway, killing this little bug family in this way made me feel bad about killing them, which is what I probably needed to feel. One can argue that they are on one's *turf*, or they're just bugs, but to me those arguments don't carry much weight. I just wish I could ask them to move out. Or I wish that I could somehow co-exist with them, but I can't. I can't stand the idea of seeing these bugs zipping around my shower.
The truth is, now that I think about it, that little bastard migrated to the shower stall before starting his family and I would carefully avoid stepping on him or letting him go down the drain when I had a shower. I did that. I went out of my way to protect him.
So, that was last year, last summer. This brings us to now - this summer, and the little shower bugs are back. I saw a big one last night and killed it - grabbed some toilet paper and mashed it, tossed it into the toilet, and flushed. Tonight, just a little while ago, I saw two of them. I killed them both and flushed them. But I felt so bad about it I had to write it down, and since I've been on holidays so haven't had a chance to write, and tonight I finally get a chance to write, this bathroom bug-killing incident happened, so you're the one I unload my guilt on.