(Cucarachita de Ehécatl Moreno. Dibujo de Adriana Degetau)
I opened the bread box and what do you think I found? The neighbor! Again! That bitch! So I promptly gave her a few major blasts of Raid bug-killer. But this time I didn’t use the ‘Home & Garden’ variety, you know, the one with the ‘country floral’ aroma? Noooo. This time I used the heavy-duty industrial-strength cockroach-killer, the one that says on the label, “even kills their babies and un-hatched eggs”. Yessir, and it was really good to finally be sticking it to that slut.
Maybe I’d better explain: I got married really young, I was totally full of dreams and plans and illusions. And right in the center of those plans was my enormous dream house, the house my husband and I were living in back then, with a king-size swimming pool, a major Food Channel kitchen, and a palatial bedroom to die for. But no sooner did the doorbell start ringing that syrupy ‘Ding Dong’ as my man stepped through the front door, home from a long day at the office, when he would get the warmest welcoming hug, and I’m talking microwave warm, from that slutty bitch of a neighbor with her super-silicon pair of tits and that oh-so-wide smile plastered over her lips.
It was hard to believe. But right now, those once-perfect tits are disintegrating under the effects of Raid bug-killer.
But where were we? Watching how the neighbor literally threw herself onto my husband, and since he wasn’t doing a single blessed thing to deter her, I decided I’d better close off the front door, so she wouldn’t have access to it. The part I didn’t realize was that the sly bitch found other ducts and passages where she could hide herself: those tiny cracks around the edges of the door, the different pipes and ductwork that ran through the walls, it was all like one big playground for her. And using her powerful, sensitive antennae, she was able to track my poor hubby all the way into the study where he used to work really late some nights. Of course, I didn’t realize what was going on. The two of them would be all cuddled up in the most dusty corner of the room, hidden under the curtains, talking all night long till the sun came up. (‘Talking’. Right. If you believe that’s all they were doing, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you.) And me, lovestruck newlywed fool that I was, I swallowed every innocent puppy-dog word he used to say to me: “No, darling, of course I want to come to bed with you, but don’t you realize? A lot of nights, I have to work all night long just to pay for your dream house.”
Hang on a sec, I’ve got to keep spraying her, just a little more Raid now, some bugs take forever to die and honestly, I’ve never been a patient person.
But…as I was saying… There was one night I just couldn’t sleep, so being the loving little wifey that I was, I decided he would really appreciate it if I came downstairs to the study, and stayed up with him while he was working sooo hard to pay for all the expensive evening dresses and Italian negligées and French perfumes that I was always buying, just to let him know much I appreciated his working his fingers to the bone and –
And can you imagine what I saw when I opened the door to my faithful, loving husband’s study?
The thing that was sitting at the desk, in front of my husband’s laptop, had been a man once, and you could still see his face, but now it was a giant black cockroach who still had my husband’s beautiful black hair, and with what I can only call a ridiculously oversized male reproductive appendage (I say ‘ridiculously’ because, truth be told, and this is just between us, my dear sweet hubby was not very well endowed) – and sitting on his lap was the neighbor. She had grown to his same size – I instantly recognized her rich reddish-purple color and those surprising violet eyes she had and – I can barely bring myself to say this part – the two of them were fondling each other’s enormous, quivering antennae. (And just so you know, I’ve never had a problem with a person’s sexual preferences, live and let live, is what I say, and different colors, different races or different species had never seemed unnatural to me. Before that night, anyway.) And –
I can’t remember the next part very well but I sort of snapped. I grabbed the first thing in front of me – the huge heavy metal platter that was some kind of golf trophy from the Country Club my husband insisted on joining – and I went for him. My big shiny cockroach cheating two-timing son-of-a-bitch till-death-do-us-part husband. He splattered and squished as I brought the metal platter down again and again, I hate cockroaches, did I mention that? It was over really fast, and it was disgusting. His girlfriend, the slutty neighbor, was frozen in shock or whatever bugs feel when they see their married lover get pulverized, but when I came for her, she took off and the bitch was fast, she managed to get away.
That was two months ago. And by the way, in case you’re wondering, the cleaning bill – for the stains on the carpet in the study – was criminal. Since then, she’s showed up now and again to steal food. And the one thing she can’t resist are those chocolate éclair donuts, you know, the ones full of rich white cream that splatters everywhere if you slam your fist down on one, which most people don’t do, by the way. (Did I mention, my husband loved them too?) So this morning, I went down to Donut Heaven and bought a dozen of them, put them in the bread box…left the front door open and the kitchen open…
And waited. And waited. And –
Sure enough, she showed. She couldn’t resist.
I’m still spraying her, by the way. It’s literally disintegrated half her body but somehow her head is still mostly intact…she’s almost dead now but, I can’t quite believe it, she’s…. Is she? She’s smiling at me. And whispering some last words, so soft I have to lean in and still I can’t catch them, cockroaches don’t talk like you or me, all I heard was: “…Eggs….almost ready….to hatch….you’ll never….find them but….”
The rest was an incomprehensible and disgusting sucking sound as what was left of her cockroach head dissolved. I kept spraying for another minute…just in case.
That was this morning. It’s midnight now. But I can’t sleep. All I can hear are those last three words:
Originally published as Raid matabichos (May 19, 2009)
Original text by Adriana Degetau.
Translation by Miguel Tejada-Flores