Drum roll, please. The creature more freighting than Godzilla, King Kong & Frankenstein is the New York City cockroach. Congratulations! The cockroach is the one critter, which makes any New Yorker, leap out of their tough shell.
Throughout my life in New York, the cockroach was only seen rushing through the bustling sidewalks. Like porno theaters in Times Square and the SoHo-artists lofts, the critter was viewed as a symbol of the gritty city.
My OCD went into high gear with the fear of ever seeing a roach. Until one day, while thoroughly cleaning my bathroom, I finally met eyes with a cockroach. “Oh no, oh no,” I proclaimed. Quickly, I grabbed a paper towel and flushed it down the toilet. I panicked. After all, I had kept my studio super clean.
Later that day, I met up with Ben. I told him ” I found a cockroach in my bathroom.” He asked, ” Is it the first one.” I nodded “yes.” He replied “Don’t worry, it’s probably a lost soldier.” In disgust, I replied, “Why do cockroaches roam the earth?” Ben answered, “I am Buddhist, and believe all living creatures have a purpose. “Go buy some repellent. I don’t think you have a problem,” he said.
I hunkered down and took a field trip to Home Depot on 23rd street. As I entered, I asked the friendly sales lady, ” excuse me, I found a roach in my bathroom. I’ve had several apartments in New York and never had one. Oh and I keep my apartment super duper clean. What product should I use?” With a little dry wit, she replied “You can’t blame yourself for having a cockroach in your apartment. These things happen to all New Yorkers. It’s okay, I have a OCD too.”
As I smiled and nodded, it dawned on me. “Wow, a trip to the Home Depot, really felt like a session with my shrink.” I bought repellent and called my dad. ” I bought this powder stuff to kill insects, but I am afraid to put it around my apartment, I said with a nervous laughter. My dad replied, “crazy, just put it on already. You’re not going to go blind or grow an extra arm. Now, it’s dinnertime here. Goodnight Antoine.” He hung up. I placed the repellent and I didn’t see any insects, especially roaches.
A few weeks later, I was out with my gal pal, Rachel. She moved into a gorgeous apartment in Stuyvesant Town. I was excited to see the new pad, which she shared with Susie & Cristal. I walked in; they loved organization and cleanliness as much as I do. ” I found something, said Susie.
On the wall of the living room, was the world’s biggest cockroach. We all screamed in unison. ” One of us has to smash it,” said Rachel. Then the enormous cockroach started flying around. “La Cucaracha,” played in my head as we all jumped around in fear. Our jumping looked more like a Mexican hat dance, sans the sombrero. Cristal walked out, took a shoe and finally smashed the roach. We all laughed.
At that moment, four New Yorkers bonded over a common enemy. By the end of the night, I realized that “shit happens.” However, having a good laugh, even at flying cockroaches, helps one get through life’s little mishaps.