I woke up this morning to find a giant cockroach dead next to my bed. It put a smile on my face. Especially when I realized it was still in its death throes. Never in my life has the suffering of another of God’s beings caused me such satisfaction.
Now, in general I’m pretty live and let live when it comes to creepy crawlies. But everyone has their limits. And therefore, I cannot extend to the freakishly large roaches indigenous to the tropics. Nor centipedes. Nor egg-sack carrying spiders. Or ticks. Or…ok. Perhaps I’m not quite as ‘live and let live’ as I make myself out to be.
Which is why I called Armando in to fumigate about 32 ½ seconds after I arrived home from Cabrera.
For the record, I had not seen any roaches in the house. It was Cabrera’s fault. Well, not the lovely seaside town, but rather the apartment Andry had arranged for my stay there.
It was nice enough, despite the damp. The problem was, it was already occupied. Although, in true horror-movie fashion, we were blissfully unaware of this fact when we arrived.
In retrospect, the signs were all there from the very beginning. Like the remains of what looked like a prehistoric monster in the bathroom. And the large cane spider who was so curious about our dinner preparations, that he decided to watch the whole thing from a vantage point above the dish drainer. But you know, you take those kinds of things in stride after a couple of years in the Caribbean.
I should mention that I wasn’t feeling myself when we arrived in Cabrera. I thought myself overheated from the drive and overwhelmed by the mildew smell in our accommodations. It wasn’t until I got into the shower – and the cold water was actually painful against my scalding hot skin – that I realized there was more to it.
The 72+ hours that followed were a roller coaster of high fevers and crushing headaches. The timing couldn’t have been worse. Our anniversary was but a couple of days away, and the whole point of me being in Cabrera was to spend some long-overdue time with my husband, whose job has taken him away from home since the beginning of February. Oh, and my biggest client was getting ready to go live on three new websites. So I was working around the clock on top of everything else.
Some time in the middle of that first night, I got up to get some water. In a feverish haze, I rounded the corner into the kitchen/living area and hit the light switch.
There are a few universal truths ingrained in us from a young age. One of them is that when you turn on the light, things that lurk in the dark – creepy crawlies, evil spirits, etc. – are supposed to scatter. Yeah, well not these $*&#^#!
Have you ever wandered into a real locals bar by mistake, and all the heads swivel in your direction? Well imagine that, only with antennas.
Even in my delirium, there was no question who was trespassing on whose domain.
I don’t know how many there were, because I didn’t have it in me to count. (There are some places my brain just refuses to go.) Suffice it to say I was outnumbered. And to get to the refrigerator, I’d have to put myself in the middle of this platoon of king-sized cucarachas. I glanced at my feet and fervently wished I’d gone for Andry’s tactical boots rather than my own flimsy sandals. The odds were definitely not in my favor.
With one last, longing look at the refrigerator, I did what any intelligent woman would do in this situation: I backed slowly out of the room and hightailed it back to bed.
The light? That stayed on.
And once I got home, I wasn’t taking any chances. Let this be a lesson, little cucarachas. This is my domain.
Welcome to my Dominican life!