You’ve spotted a cockroach in your apartment. Eek! At first you’re upset that something has marred the clean, peaceful sanctuary of your home. However, as you hang around for the next few days, nibbling leftovers and wondering if anyone will text you to make plans, you realize that the company isn’t so bad after all. Upon closer inspection, this roach has a trusting gleam to his eye, a warm grin where you think his mouth is. Or is that just because you haven’t seen a real person in five days? Here’s how you can tell if he’s really an affable pal, or if you’re kinda losing it.
Does the jaunty way it moves its antennae suggest a sense of humor, or do you just lack friends?
You swear there’s a wry attitude to the way the cockroach in your apartment wiggles its antennae. “Hey there,” it seems to tease. “Why have you listened to Nelly Furtado’s ‘Promiscuous’ 23 times this weekend?” While it is possible that you’ve found a hilarious companion of a cockroach, it’s also possible that you are assigning it desirable human characteristics because you can’t remember the last time you went out with a friend. Can you remember? Try to remember a face that isn’t the cockroach’s. Can you? You should maybe make a friend—a human one.
Do you detect a kindred spirit in the way it startles when you turn on the lights, or should you make a concerted effort to be more social?
When you turn on the light in the morning, the cockroach that has been roaming around your home basically falls over itself to retreat to a dark, quiet space—just like you at parties! Looks like you might have found a cockroach who shares your introversion, but it’s more likely that you have focused on your loneliness so much that you are now projecting it onto a creature incapable of emotion. Maybe go for a walk? At least start talking to your coworkers; you’ve been at that job for seven years.
Is its speedy scuttle under into your medicine cabinet an admirable feat of physical strength, or have you been watching too many sports movies alone on your sofa?
You almost heard the Rocky music play as the roach spotted you and ran for cover. What an act of athleticism! While you are no doubt amazed by its agility, you’re probably inserting a human narrative onto a cockroach because you just want something real to root for. Call your mom, at the absolute least. She needs to know how bad it’s gotten.
Has it finally found its place in the world (inside your Keurig), or is that actually what you want to find?
You would love to find a place where you feel comfortable, with a loving family that understands you, and a little house with a big pool out back. Maybe this cockroach has found that place, and it just happens to be in the warm, secluded damp of your Keurig machine. You wouldn’t want to deprive it of its one true home, though you also might just be projecting your own desire for companionship onto a roach infestation that is endangering your health.
Does its surprising will to live suggest an admirable tenacity, or is it time to call an exterminator?
You have made some half-assed attempts to get rid of this cockroach. You’ve sprayed some chemicals on it, even tried to vacuum it up. But as you watched it cling to your kitchen tiles and to life itself, you were struck by its desire to stay on this earth. For what purpose? you wonder, as you Google local exterminators. While there is a possibility that this cockroach has a purpose that you do not know about, it is also likely that you are justifying that you have spent a weekend doing nothing except obsessing over a cockroach. Maybe ask the exterminator if he knows anyone you can talk to.
Now that the exterminator has come and you have spent two days processing this roller coaster of a relationship, it’s probably time to leave your home. Go out and meet someone; there are plenty of non-cockroach humans out there in this wide, beautiful world!