*This is a creative non-fiction piece that I told many times during my first month back in the states after living in Guatemala for some time.*
Long Live The Cockroach
There is a reason I am very scared of roaches. It’s not because they’re almost indestructible with their hard shell and stealth moves either. Over the summer I went to visit my cousins in Guatemala. I knew that there would be some cultural differences, but I didn’t expect them to come in bug form. One night when I went back to my room, I noticed a rustling from one of my bags. I thought that maybe it was my imagination getting the best of me because I was still getting used to going to sleep in an apartment all by myself. I checked it out just to be on the safe side and when I moved the bag, a roach came crawling out and scuttled under the chair! I was scared out of my mind! I didn’t even realize that these bugs were indigenous to this country as well. There wasn’t any wifi in the place where I was sleeping, so I just quickly got my shoes on, put on a sweater, grabbed my book, and went to my cousin’s house next door. I had had enough and because my cousins had already asked me if I wanted to sleep in their house if I was ever scared or homesick, I decided to do so, at least for the night, until I could get this bug situation under control. I was in bed and finally at ease. No cockroach was going to eat me alive tonight. That’s what I thought anyway.
It was the middle of the night when something startled me awake. I thought nothing of it until I felt something on my arm. I reached to touch it and quickly realized that it was the cockroach. I screamed bloody murder and flung it across the room. This bug was after me! I didn’t know what to do now. This bug had a tracking device on me and was out for murder. There was nothing I could do but go back to sleep and wait until the morning to do something about it. The next morning I went to talk to my aunt about the situation and how to get it resolved. After some coffee and deep condolences (and many laughs), I found out that these bugs are very common in Guatemala, these “cook-ahs” as she called them, and that they’re very hard to get rid of. She had tried bug spray and almost everything else but they always seemed to come back. The best precaution I could take was cleaning the apartment every day and making sure there wasn’t anything on the ground that the cockroaches could get into. Shortly after that I got the Zika virus, but I’ll blame the over-population of mosquitos there on that one. I am very pro-life, and I won’t kill any bug without a good reason, but I learned a very important lesson that day. When a roach comes into view, don’t hesitate. Because that bug is not your friend.
About the author:
Claire Valentina Rodriguez is a creatively inclined, 21 year old student of Fine Arts. She wrote her first novel at 13. At 17 she debuted her first EP ‘Boy Crazy,’ which can be found on Bandcamp.com and wrote her second novel as part of the Nanowrimo writing month titled, ‘Popstar Drama.’ In 2012 she became apart of a vlogging group on YouTube called ‘Project 12’ and uploaded a video everyday for a year. With currently more than 5 thousand followers on Instagram, she is someone to watch out for.