I get it. I live in the Shida night market. This is their playground and I am an interloper.
But disturbing me while I sleep is just wrong.
I was just starting to drift when I heard scratching at the foot of my bed. I knew immediately what was large enough to make that sound, like a wad of wrapping paper hitting the wall.
I turned on the light and there he was - slim, shiny and guilty-looking. He and his kind amaze me. His physical presence, the space that he occupies, the noise that he makes scuttering around, like a mouse, only smaller and crunchier.
He's like that loud, pushy girl that lumbered about the stadium and body-checked me twice at a men's basketball game. There's nothing graceful or likeable or subtle about him.
My landlord had bought me a can of Raid so I would not have to chase them with pot lids.
I fogged my bedroom and did a jig while he bolted in every direction. Under my desk, behind the door, into any corner.
I finally retrieved a pot lid from the kitchen and capped him as he was dashing for my closet.
He slid his antennae under the lid and then tried to squeeze the rest of his brown body through, his abdomen flat on the floor, his shell pressed against the glass lid.
As I was trying to figure out what to do next, the Raid apparently started to work. First, he lost use of his left back leg. He became disoriented, leaning to one side. Then he was on his back, his legs furiously running in the air. It was excruciating.
"Oh my God, the people at Raid are cruel!" I scooped him up under a piece of paper and flushed him down the toilet.
I can't squish. I can't spray. I definitely can't cohabit. So Irish jig with a pot lid then the toilet it is.
Me to my mom: "Aren't there any home remedies to deal with the roaches?"
"Buy a hammer," my mom says.
My midnight visitor reaches out to touch me with his filaments.