Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Death of a Cockroach

Pong Pheng Guesthouse, Room 14 - July 2008

"Hey Paul, C'mere"

"What is it?"

"Nothing, just look"

"Fuck sake,"



"On the wall, there, see him?"


"Ah ha ha ha"

"I don't know what you're laughing at, you're cowering behind the door the same as me"

"Look at the size of him"

"Oh Jesus"

"Right who's going to do it?"

"Oh come on"

"Alright I'll do it but you stay here and spray him with something - to kill the eggs"

"Oh Jesus"

Paul holding a can of Lynx deodorant as threateningly as he can is cowering behind Adam who himself is standing low, knees bent with a sandal high above his head. The two inch closer to a cockroach who is attached to the bathroom wall. The cockroach is slightly smaller than a human baby. His face and individual legs are discernible from a great distance. Adam gets close enough to strike. A lifetime of missed attacks informs both men that this may not be the fatal blow. They prepare for much scuttling, possibly towards themselves. They run the nightmare scenario in their heads - the cockroach starts flying. Both men are aware that an airborne offensive will require backup. They'll need hotel staff to get involved. Adams hand begins to tremble. The cockroach will sense the strike. He'll run. And then it comes. CRACK. He didn't run anyway. Paul descends, still wobbling from the encounter to spray the corpse. Together they dispose of it without ceremony. Within minutes both have begun drinking. Hours later one laughs, then the other. It is over.

In-Touch Guesthouse, Room 14, Koh Tao - May 2009

"Barry I don't want to alarm you but we have a job to do."

"Yeah? What is it?"

"Look in the corner"

"What the washing?"

"No, behind the bin"

(silence for 10 seconds)

"Oh Jesus"


"I can't"

"I know"

"I can't kill it"

"I know, I'm worse than you Barry. But it has to be done"

"I know"

"Right if you move the bin and get me a good strike distance I'll do it."


"Do it slowly though, we don't want him to flee."

"What if he runs under out beds?"

"Then we sleep on the beach."

Here Barry with great patience and purpose of motion removes the waste paper basket from the corner of the room in which a cockroach no smaller than an adult male goat has taken up residence.

"Right I'm just going to get out of the room."

"You can't leave me Barry. What if he moves?"

"Right I'll stay."


"Oh Jesus."

"Oh Jesus."

Here Paul approaches the corner, much like Adam a year before him, a sandal high above his head, knees bent, preparing to strike. The roach could be asleep. They sleep don't they? He might not sense me coming. But then he might. And then what? Don't think about it. If you think about it you'll get too afraid. Fear is the mind killer. I must not fear. I'm close enough now. My hand trembles slightly. I'm close enough to make out individual hairs on the beasts legs. One.... Two... Fuck it. BOOM! Direct hit. BOOM! BOOM! Just to be sure. I life my sandal and a broken cockroach convulses on the ground. BOOM! The fatal strike. Soon we dispose of the body in an empty Pringles can. Then we blame any food residue for his presense. The bin and some half empty beer bottles and removed to the veranda. Once a sweep has been performed we both shiver thinking about what could have done wrong. Later I dream of victory and how what it is to be brave is to fear and continue anyway.

1 comment:

Carmen said...

Haha! You're a hero! I would never be able to kill that bastard.. X