I am terrified of insects… and I mean really terrified. I won’t even let butterflies get too close to me. You can draw your own conclusions about that but let me just mention that my dad has been hiding around corners ready to jump-scare me with a variety of dead creatures since before I could even waddle around the house properly.
Flash forward two decades and I’m sitting at my desk minding my own business, trying to get some work done after a long, hot day. A single crack of thunder reverberates in the distance and I shove my bedroom window open as wide as it will go to let the cool air in and to soak up the earthy aromas as the rain begins to spill from the clouds.
Later, I get up from my desk to fetch a glass of water and there, on my white bedroom wall, like a huge, menacing stain, sits a giant cockroach. I freeze, horrified, unsure of what to do. For a moment, a few seconds maybe, this creature and I remain static in what I can only describe and the world’s strangest staring contest. I don’t know if cockroaches have facial expressions, but I could have sworn that thing looked at me as if to say, “I’m coming for you.”
My next instinct was to scream and run. I didn’t scream (though it took a lot of effort not to) but I did run down the corridor to my friend’s room. She wasn’t in. I tried my other friend. She wasn’t in her room either. I paced up and down the corridor, searching for some way not to have to deal with the situation myself but, I had to accept that I was on my own and that I had to make a plan or else I wasn’t sleeping tonight.
Back in my room, the creature was having all sorts of fun – scuttling all over my bed and dancing in circles on my floor. I made a lunge for my cupboard to grab a shoe and that’s when the real struggle began. I tried to hit the cockroach once and it nearly flew right at my face. I ran to the bathroom for cover. My heart was beating in my ears at this point and for a moment, I seriously considered locking myself in the bathroom and sleeping on the cold tile floor.
Quickly, I realised this was not a viable option. I grabbed a towel thinking that if I trapped the cockroach under it, I could smash it to bits. That backfired too. The creature came crawling out from under the towel within seconds, right at me.
What was my plan B? To make a sandwich.
I sprinted to the kitchen. I could not stand to be in the same room with that gross, ugly thing anymore. So, at midnight I was sat on the kitchen counter, eating a chicken sandwich and reflecting on just how badly I was failing at life.
It took me a while before I could work up the courage to re-enter my room and when I did, it took a few moments to locate the cockroach. Then, it happened. For all the creature’s cunning and evasiveness, it had finally gotten itself into a predicament. All I had to do was put on a pair of surgical gloves, grab a bit of tissue paper and grab it where it was nestled in a corner.
Thus, my two-hour war with a cockroach ended.
I wish I could tell you the whole ordeal taught me some sort of meaningful lesson that I can leave you with, but all it really did was highlight how ill-equipped I am to be an adult.