I was in my kitchen of my cockroach-infested NYC apartment, when I saw a small cockroach in my sink. Like either a ballerina on her fifteenth pirouette or a YouTube video entitled “Guy Jumps Off His Rood and Dies In Agonizing Pain,” I just couldn’t look away!
The little guy started to crawl up the side of the metal sink and then paused for a bit. He considered this sink like a metal Everest and thought, “I know it’s never been done but I’m going for the top!” I didn’t want to break his little heart and tell him about the countless cockroaches I have seen scurry up and down my sink. I could have been like a cruel God that causes starvation and war and weather anomalies that leave towns decimated and people without homes, as opposed to our loving God, and knocked his sorry ass back down to the bottom, but I was rooting for this little bastard.
He suddenly lost his footing and tumbled back to the bottom of the sink. “Son of a goddamn bitch!” I heard him shout and while I didn’t approve of the language, I certainly understood the frustration. He made his way up the side of the sink again, slowly as to avoid the various water droplets that to him were akin to a crevasse that could lead to a brutal free-drowning. “You can do it!” I shouted like a fruity cheerleader.
And then…a little less mellifluous than Paul Simon…the little guy went “Slid Sliding Away” back down to the bottom. He looked around and, like a human after a slip on the ice who rather fracture his spine unseen than leave unscathed but noticed, he seemed relieved that there were no other roaches around to mock him. “Nice climb, douchebag!” “What’s the matter, no stick on your feet?!” “I once ate a whole raisin!” (The last mocker in this imaginary side story doesn’t fully understand the whole art of insult.)
He brushed off the dust and picked himself back up again. As a bit of background information to better set the scene, since I often leave dishes unwashed in my sink for weeks, a lot of dust seems to accumulate there. “You can do it, yes you can! If you can’t do it…well, I suppose another cockroach can!” (My cheering is about as skillful as the “I once ate a whole raisin!” cockroach’s ragging.)
It was another repeat of his last climb. He paused halfway up the side, assessing his situation, taking into account the possibility of a gale wind, took a few more steps, lost his footing and took a hard fall. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck you! Fuck you! Fucky fuck!” He was going to owe a shitload of money to the Swear Jar.
As he started his third attempt, I quickly grabbed my cell phone and, while anyone in his right mind would have filmed this awe-inspiring event, instead I called my upcoming client and said, “I’m not feeling well. Not going to make our appointment,” and got right back to my little hero as he tried to cross the Hillary step, named not after Sir Edmund Hillary who summited Everest, but Hillary Clinton who was able to cross the impossible barrier of using a non-government email carrier to send classified information without being prosecuted like any other government worker would have who had done the same thing. Had I known she was going to do this, I would have blown my load on her blue dress instead of in her face.
I saw my little buddy, to use Gilligan’s Island Skipper-speak, start to lose his footing and I this put me at the breaking point of my stress levels. I pressed my finger against the sink horizontally underneath him, providing a safety netting similar to the first circus trapeze artist safety netting during the early times of this “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave” country that was made from the skin of slaves. I then guided my finger up the side of the sink. This put a little hop into the slow cockroach’s step. He stumbled a few times and fell back onto my finger but I kept him moving upward, at this point pretty much acting like an elevator lift.
At the top I dropped him off and announced, “14th Floor: Ladies underwear and bath towels,” but the little cockroach had fallen onto his back and, like a turtle, couldn’t seem to right himself up, making him inattentive to my joke. At this even I was like, “Dude, seriously?” I used my elevator finger to get him to his feet. He walked right back to the edge of the sink and like a lemming took a dive right back into the sink. I was like, “What the fu—?”
He looked up at me and said, “I don’t need help! I can do this on my own!” I said, “That’s bullshit. You just fell back into the sink and are now making an excuse.” He started up and halfway said, “A little help here?” I decided to be the better man and not make him admit the obvious, that he didn’t intentionally jump back into the sink. I finger-lifted him up to the top again where, again, he fell on his back.
“Goddamn it!” he shouted. I got him to his feet again and blocked him from taking another header into the sink. He looked at me and said, “Now what?”
I asked, “What do you mean?”
He said, “Come on now, I’ve seen you throw the other cockroaches out the window.”
I defended myself, “As an animal rights guy, I will not kill even a roach. But that doesn’t mean I want to share a home with one.”
“So are you going to toss me out the window, you sick fuck?” he queried.
I looked him over. While he had the mouth of a sailor, looking at his climbing performance and back turtle-ing, I thought he might have the mind of a retard. “Nah, you can go wherever you want.”
He paused to process what I had said and for the first time since the beginning of his climb, he expressed gratitude. “Thanks.”
“Alright, get out of here before I start tearing up,” I said, feeling my emotions in my throat.
He walked off and with his back to me said, “Pussy.” I loved that little retard.