Sunday, June 7, 2015


I'm not impossible to impress. People who fold their blankets every morning even though they know they're going to unfold it every night - they impress me. I just gather it into a ball and hide it somewhere in case somebody nosy visits. People who wear sunglasses impress me. I keep pushing mine up and down, scrunching my nose, taking them off when I doubt my depth perception (happens often) and generally behaving like a half-blind, overly fussy librarian.

The animal kingdom impresses me in almost every way. I love them so deeply, my heart overflows at their every little action- even standing still. They're all that cute to me. Well, not all. I have a big problem with an insect- namely, cockroaches. I'm not sure when it started, or how to stop it. But I freak out at the sight of them.

I have a neighbor and friend who feels that way about lizards. About once a week, I can depend on hearing screams coming from the apartment opposite mine. I rush to open the door, and I catch sight of her rushing down the corridor as if her apartment is ground zero for an impending apocalypse. I always shake my head at her when she returns, cowering behind the security guard - her personal lizard-vanquishing hero. I say, 'Pooh, it's just a lizard, Want to see me catch it in my hand?' She screams again. I smile again.

That's why it's so hard for my ego when I react so strongly at the sight of a cockroach. I cannot scream- I can't hit any high note. I just run. I grab the broom and I cower behind it. I shoo it out of my apartment or down a drain, my heart beating like a horse's the whole time. If it comes at me, and especially if it flies, then forget it- that thing is dead. That's why I use lots of that chalk that keeps the little monsters away from my house. I live a relatively cockroach-free life, and I consider it a privilege.

Yet somehow, I must have earned some sort of reputation as a demoness amongst the cockroach population in this area. One sleepless night, I walked into the kitchen at around 2 and switched on the light. As I stood at the counter, wondering what to eat, I saw this tiny baby cockroach scurrying all over the counter like crazy. I mean, this thing was terrified out of its wits at the sight of me. All I was doing was just standing there quietly.

Suddenly, it heads towards me; I'm still motionless, and before my amazed eyes, the little thing actually jumps off the edge, still running at full speed. My mouth falls open as I watch it gracefully arc into the air like a sky diver and fall. The floor is mosaic, so I lost sight of it even before it landed. But I stood there for awhile, gaping at what I'd just seen. It was like a scene out of a movie, only the action hero was a 2 mm cockroach.

Maybe five paragraphs about this is a bit too much, but you had to have been there. Inspiring that much terror in another creature is a terribly strange feeling. I can barely relate to it. My only point of reference is with kids. Although I'm a teacher with all sorts of ideals within the classroom, that's purely education. (Even that has a 45 minute time limit before I explode, but let's gloss over that.) Outside of that, on the streets, you could say, I deal with kids on a case by case basis. I'm the person who'll glare at either a misbehaving child or its unfortunate parent until it stops what its doing. If there's some degree of familiarity, and the parent is doing nothing, I'll step in and do what's needed. If they never talk to me again, well then, boo-hoo.

The reason I sound like a total bad-ass is because I am. If people are going to inflict their offspring on me, they should be ready for me to inflict myself on said offspring. Works both ways.  Recently, I heard that a colleague and a mother of a five year old who lives in my building threatened her boy with a visit from me. That's when I felt a bit impressive myself. (Also a bit old, but let's gloss over that too.) Baby cockroaches, baby humans- all running away, screaming. Not bad, eh? Not bad at all.

                                     And people wonder why I'm still single...

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