I had a dream that cockroaches were actually smarter than we thought, and had human emotions. earlier in the week I killed several cockroaches and I began to mull over my own existence after I sprayed them with death gas. I would watch as they rolled around on their backs and twitched their legs furiously in agony, until they slowed to a stop. then I leave the carcass there as a warning to the others. it reminds me of a joke on TV I couldn’t relate to at the time, having never seen a cockroach. but now I get the joke.
“Cockroaches are just part of life here in Japan” I was told. This coming from someone who has only known this life. this life of cockroaches scurrying in the kitchen after the lights go out and the left overs from dinner rot in the crusted pans next to the rusted knives. this life full of cockroaches is not a shrug-your-shoulders-and-accept-it situation, it turns out. it’s just this place is dirty as fuck. it’s no surprise, really. When I saw the ant trail in the dining room feasting on a scrumptious chunk of food find the toddler no doubt dropped during breakfast, I didn’t bat an eye.
“it’s only a temporary situation” so, I can take on anything. I can work around it and accept I don’t have to live this way for long. my room is a sanctuary of dusty tatami mats and a private garden patio. when the family is not around, I dash into the kitchen, make a small meal and quickly retreat. I am now like the cockroach.
scurry to survive! the cockroaches and I are not so different, after all.