I’m going to share a story with you today about the only pet my Miami roommates and I ever owned – Carl. Carl came into our lives out of nowhere. We never thought we’d have a pet, thought our house was too messy, but for Carl, it was just perfect. Kat was the first to notice him, living quite comfortably in our house, settling in, making himself at home. It was Kateva, I believe, who decided to name him Carl. It just fit.
He’d sit, perched on the arm of our couch, and watch reruns of Say Yes to the Dress while we were in class. He’d greet us hello and goodbye as we came in and out of the living room, going about our day. None of us really got too close to Carl; we weren’t sure how friendly or cuddly he’d be. But we all knew he was there, and acknowledged his presence. Soon after his arrival into our lives, Carl disappeared just as mysteriously as he had come. He gave us no notice of his departure; in fact, we spent a lot of time searching our house for Carl, wondering where he could’ve gone. But he never came back. We never saw him again.
Our pet Carl. Carl the Cockroach.
Now, I really shouldn’t use the word pet, because that has an extremely positive connotation. We were terrified of Carl. Carl must have been the king of all cockroaches, bigger than any lizard or frog we’d ever seen in South Florida. I think my dog would’ve been afraid of this thing. He was large and in charge. We were captives in our own home.
He’d sit, perched on the arm of our couch as if it was a throne of evil, preventing us from sitting comfortably to watch reruns of Say Yes to the Dress. He’d stare at us as we came in and out of the living room, trying to go about our days. None of us really got too close to Carl; we weren’t sure how he’d react. But we all knew he was there, and acknowledged his presence. When Carl disappeared, the reason we spent all that time searching was because we were TERRIFIED that he’d pop up somewhere, unsuspecting, and attack. But he never came back. We never saw him again.
We had too many cockroach encounters in our house in Florida. There was another instance where a cockroach seemed to fly onto Vic’s arm during a pre-game. We didn’t even know these things had wings. Another time, I had to chase one out of my closet with a broom (and when I say I, I meant I stood on my bed freaking out while Daniella chased it out of my room with a broom). We decided our old yearbooks were better used as Cockroach Killers, and whenever we spotted one, we’d run for a yearbook and throw it as hard as we could against the intruder. These things would sometimes take 3 hits with a book before they finally died. Once, Claudy threw a yearbook on a roach, jumped on top of the book 3 times, and when we checked, it scurried away, unscathed. Unbelievable. These are the bugs they’re talking about when they say cockroaches would survive a nuclear war. I really think they would.
^ Me, during every cockroach encounter. ^
So needless to say, I now suffer from some serious cockroach PTSD. Literally, I think every moving shadow on the ground is a cockroach, and I prep myself to run for a large hardcover textbook. There was a cockroach in my office building earlier this week and I ran back to my desk and pulled my feet up in my chair so fast people must’ve thought I’d seen a ghost. Now, every time I leave my office, I do a quick check to see if one of them is lingering in the hallway. As of late, I’ve been safe, but if one day I do lay eyes on one of these vermin, I’m sure to bug out. (Pun intended.) I don’t know if therapy will help; I think I may have to live the rest of my life in this constant fear of my 6-legged nightmares.
All because of Carl.