Today I watched a cockroach die. I watched it circle frantically round the kitchen sink, desperately looking for a way out with the resilience only a cockroach would have. I stood and observed the insect as it mistakenly stepped in and sprang out of a micro-puddle of water, as its six legs curled up under its poisoned body, arching its frame into a pitiful stance. Finally, it toppled over placing its back on the stainless steel sink and its legs, pointed to the sky, kicking, shaking as if willing itself to fight its inevitable fate. And then, nothing.
With two blasts from a can of insecticide I took a life. It deserved to die because I was bigger, stronger and most of all, scared. It was tiny and weak in the vastness of my kitchen sink, in search of food as we are innately designed to do.
As I paused for a moment from the futility of my day, I thought of the fragility of life. About how crushable my existence is like the lifeless figure’s before me. Something so precious yet so easily taken away at the mere motion of fingers. All that’s left is a piece of organic matter.
Looking away, towards the microwave across the kitchen, I thought of crying. The tears were there; but how absurd, no? It was just a cockroach. With a tear of kitchen towel, I picked up the carcass and abandoned it in the bin.