“I want to go home.”
This was the text I sent to a friend last night, after going on a killing rampage. It seems that several cockroaches wanted to take up residence in my tiny studio. In fairness, I’ve been here for three weeks, and this was the first time that I had seen this number. I believe it was due to my leaving my front door open in an attempt to circulate air. I think the roaches took that as an open invitation. I’m not a particularly squeamish person (I did work in hospitals for over ten years, after all), but I found myself squealing quite a bit last night. I do not like these large, beetle-esque creatures. More importantly, I am the one paying rent. If they want to live here, they need to start paying their share.
The first one I saw, I shooed out the door in an effort to honor life. As more made their presence known, I was not so kind. A couple met their demise on the bottom of a shoe. One I smashed on the wall, as he climbed behind my calendar thinking he was safe. One was beaten repeatedly by a Swiffer (a clean sweep, perhaps?). One was dumb enough to climb into the toilet, so a simple flush did him in. And yes, I am quite glad I looked into the bowl before using it.
It’s funny, when I told people of my decision to move to the Caribbean for a bit, I was met with excitement, envy, imaginings of a glorious life I would lead. And yes, my life can now include moments were I watch colorful festivals on the street, or can look down and see coconuts at my feet. It can include sunsets over the water, and dipping my feet in the salty ocean. It just may also include moments where I go to sleep with the fear that a cockroach crawling into my ear (the image is also a gift from my years working in the hospital).
So, where does this leave me on a Sunday morning? The week before I left, I had dinner with a friend, and our conversation has been on my mind for past several days. He was telling me about some videos of a Buddhist monk that he had found on Youtube, after Googling, “does life suck?” One of the stories told was a fable of a man who had lost his finger, due to an infection. When he went to the doctor, the doctor told him, “may be good, may be bad, who knows?” The fable goes on to describe how incidents that appear horrible can be quite fortunate, and vice versa. There are plenty of fables that exist like that.
So I take that thought with me here. I cannot know at this moment what the end game is. I can’t know where any given moment will lead. All I can do is keep moving forward, and being gentle with myself along the way. May be good. May be bad. Who knows?
At this moment, all I know is that I can’t let the cockroaches win.