After staring at the computer screen for seven straight hours, I went home to my rented room at around 4 o’clock one morning, anticipating the prospect of uninterrupted sleep since it was my day off from work.
I muted the ring tone on my cellphone, turned on my bedside radio to an FM station, grabbed my favorite cool ‘malong’, and hugged my jumbo hotdog pillow. As usual, the world was beginning to wake up just when I turned off the lights and snuggled in bed.
I was expecting of thoroughly enjoying the deepest kind of sleep one can enjoy during the day but I was just drifting off to dreamland when I felt something scurry up my legs, into my stomach and towards my neck.
Alarmed, I immediately jumped up off the bed, threw away my malong and pillows and took on a combatant stance, ready to face my attacker head on. Only to find out a big cockroach (yucks) scrambling to safety towards my bookcase.
I mean it was a real cockroach! The ones who spit, scatter their legs around, get drunk on my leftover coffee, juice or beer, know what’s inside my locker and in my trashcan.
I shuddered with revulsion. On an impulse I took a broom from the corner and pulled out all my books and papers to catch the culprit, who disappeared almost simultaneously as though it had an instant premonition into the workings of my mind. I didn’t give up until I saw it seek cover under my locker.
I poked it with the broom and began throwing things around until the whole room was in a hopeless mess. I didn’t give up the chase, intending to win this battle until I had it cornered. I wacked the cockroach with the broom (not so hard because I had other plans) and it fell to the floor.
I got out a Raid chalk, drew out a perfect circle and pushed the still alive cockroach into the middle of the circle.
“Haha, let your companions see your die,” I gloated because I knew that the cockroach could not escape from the thick circle alive. Satisfied, I went back to sleep but it was no longer as sweet as I intended it to be, my dreams filled with cockroaches.
Ever seen the film “Joe’s Apartment”? It’s a story about out-of-towner Joe (Jerry O’Connell) who moved into a filthy apartment in New York and be a roommate to more than 50,000 cockroaches. Moving in with Joe would be my death.
Waking up hours later, I saw him (or her I have no idea which), still on the floor where I left him (or her), face up, head turned 20 degrees to the left. I left my room feeling victorious that afternoon.
The cockroach (I swear it was the same one resurrected from the dead) got even with me one morning as I rushed to the bathroom to take a hurried bath. It was still six a.m. (practically midnight for my body clock) but an out-of-town appointment prodded me out of bed.
With eyes still half-closed, I made my way to the bathroom, took off my clothes, groped for the ‘tabo’ and poured cold water over my head to fully wake up.
As soon as the water made contact with my hair, I let out a blood curdling, fear-induced scream that awakened my next-door and next-house neighbors, for scrambling down my body, thankful of their freedom were two cockroaches (he’s got a partner this time to get even with me!) whom I’ve unconsciously saved from the water.
I rushed out of the bathroom, barely managing to grab the towel and wrapping a small part of myself with it only to find out that a handful of audience had come out to investigate what caused the commotion.
It took about 35 minutes for my breathing to get back to normal. Another 20 for my heartbeat to settle down. And then about 12 more minutes before I realized that my neighbors had a grand time laughing at the fuss I made over a pair of cockroaches, including showing my butt for the world to see in my state of ‘undress’.