I live in the South where we are not strangers to the occasional cock roach. It doesn't matter how well you spray or protect your home, the little suckers will still pop in from time to time. I blame the lack of rain- that they're looking for water and the massive dog bowl full of tap water in my kitchen is their midnight cocktail. Drink up, my little guests. But really, this house has got some cracks and is not sealed up. But it's properly sprayed from time to time, so, welcome to the death trap, you dirty scoundrels.
Do I play things up on Instagram and Facebook to make my life appear storybook-esque? I really don't think I do. The pictures might say I've got my shit together but once you read my captions you'll find yourself saying, "wow, this is really some messed up shit." Where there's a perfect meal or setting, there are always two stories flanking it that make me shake my head and wonder how some people appear to have it so good. Saturday was one of those perfect days so I should have known a shit storm was going to hit land sooner or later. My sister moved into her house built in 1905 and is just a quick 1/2 mile walk (for her. I've been driving.) A new home decor shop opened in town. Nicole and I are joining the Historical Society. We take charming strolls through the nearby cemetery with wine. I make beef chili, cornbread and pumpkin spice cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting and I share it over wine with friends and family. The train passes through my backyard daily. It's so damn charming I can't even.
And then my heat goes out. Not sure why and I'm not too motivated because sleeping in 55 degrees with goose down everything is absolutely wonderful. Breana even keeps her ceiling fan on turbo speed still- the fan that I bought strictly because all of the reviews said it sounds like a helicopter and the blades could chop off your limbs if you celebrate too much. Breana has never loved anything more. But I will attest that the entire winter of this past year, we didn't cut on the upstairs thermostat and neither one of us got sick. But sure, I need to have this looked at, it's not cool to offer company layers of clothing and blankets when they visit for dinner, "Would you like a robe with that glass of wine?" Sunday morning, after a fabulous night's rest in my cold house, I noticed a cock roach on its back in the breakfast room. I glanced, shook my head and started to continue to the bathroom when something strange caught my eye. Some red tubular thing was protruding out of the roach's rear end. I'm a wimp with bugs and I didn't want to deal with it until after I had my coffee. But I was intrigued with this red thing- Do roaches have penises? Did death grip onto this poor fella mid-hard-on? Was my house viewed as a peaceful place to die in the bug community? All valid questions while making coffee. As I gathered more courage to pick it up and dispose of it, I noticed the red tubular thing had extended further out from the roach body. Wtf was this? I have this amazing talent at not having to measure anything, I just know, I can eyeball it. This was no different- the red thing was slightly larger. I hadn't totally dismissed the penis theory yet.
"Mom? Did you know there's a dead bug on the floor?" Breana informed as I was getting dressed.
"Ugh, yes, I know. And what the hell is that red thing poking out of it?" I asked her. Like she'd know!
"I don't know!"
"I need to pick it up..."
"No, just do it later!"
"No. I need to do it. Now."
I was never more certain. This thing and it's odd red growth could not be left alone. So I did a 3 minute whiney dance where I openly expressed to my kid that I hate being an adult. "Enjoy your childhood while it lasts!" I coached her. I would have dropped to the floor for a full-on temper tantrum, but remember, there was a roach there. I took hold of the broom and figured I'd open the back door and golf swing that roach on outta my house. I'd have to be on point though because I have a hefty threshold. After more whining and complaining and hearing Breana sigh, "God, Mom, just do it," I brushed it gently with the broom and the bitch wriggled and totally dispatched her red tubular thing, totally freeing it from her brown body! I freaked.
I bolted out the back and can't recall the last time I screamed like that! "What is that?!?! OMG!!! What the hell is that?!?!" I looked to my kid for answers, but she was still standing calmly in the kitchen, her arms folded, no facial expression whatsoever, "I'll be in the car," she stated, very matter-of-factly. So there I was: Just me, the broom, the Roach and her aborted red tubular thing. She moved ever so slightly, reaching out to me with her quivering roach leg as if to say, "Help me... pleeeeeeease help... meeeee..." So I whacked her with my broom and she smacked right into the threshold just as I feared would happen. She crawled to the corner where my dining bench connects to the wall, almost to seek relief and surrender with her roach legs in the air, "Take me now but please, spare my red tubular thing..." After several more whacks at trying to catapult her outside, I violently scooped her up with the dust pan and hoisted her into the yard. But somewhere in my fury, I was distracted. Where was the red tubular thing? Had I gotten rid of it? I don't remember. I couldn't find it, so I told myself I must have golfed that shit out of my house. But I'm still not 100% sure.
You know when something bad happens and there's that moment in between the dream state and reality, where everything is okay for just a second? That's what happened when Breana and I came home later that day. We were joyful, laughing and then as I unlocked the front door, I was reminded of that morning's scene. I didn't want to go inside. But wine was inside. So I went inside. However I soon retreated back to the front porch with my wine and phone and googled "Red tubular thing coming out of dying cock roach". I refused to look at any images and instead read several articles that were of no aid, and only added to my terror. Apparently roaches can store food for long periods of time and their gizzard has an extra set of teeth to chew the food properly (you're welcome). I rocked on the porch swing ever so gently, my left hand cupped over my mouth in disgust. And then at that very moment, Boyd texted with a link to a Youtube video.
"Is this what you saw?" he asked.
"No! I can't watch it!" I protested, "Just figure out what the red tube was and tell me."
"Watch the video."
"From what I can see it was one of two things. Either it was giving birth or it was a worm."
"It was NOT a worm."
Moments later I was still on the porch swing when my sister, Nicole, and her daughter showed up for dinner.
"Oh! Look at you on your porch! This looks so nice!" Nicole commented. I just stared into the woods, never making eye contact, and with a slight whisper, I revealed, "No. I've seen things. Life is different now." We went inside where I poured my sister a glass of wine and continued to tell her about murdering the birthing cock roach, just mere feet away from her own feet. She hated me for it. But I have to share, just like I'm doing with you- if you're still reading. So with every bouquet of roses I buy, for every perfectly fluffed pillow, every delicious meal I make, there is a fucked up side story to back it up. Life is far, far from perfection but damn if it's not hilarious.
Here is my Instagram account where on the surface everything looks pretty. Just ignore the series of photos with the creepy small hands. I hope you are able to find images of beauty before falling asleep tonight.