When I lived on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, we had cockroaches. Upper Manhattan is covered in cockroaches, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.
My room was a former maid’s quarters off the kitchen (with en suite bathroom, thank-you-very-much), far too close to the large pantry we called the “cucaracha den.” Saying “cucaracha” instead of “cockroach” took some of the sting out of the idea that little Blatellae and Periplanetae were sleeping (or not sleeping!) within spitting distance of my bed.
S.O.P. with regard to the C.D. was to open the door, leap away, pause briefly for a collective scurrying-away, and only then retrieve whatever it is you went into the pantry for, if you can remember. Eventually, our cucarachas came out of their shells (so to speak) and grew entirely too comfortable with the open pantry door. “Pardon my reach” is not something I am accustomed to saying to non-humans, and I resented the slow, deliberate wave of antennae that seemed to request such an apology.
Still, I had to respect the little bastards. (See also, “These Bitches are Just Tryna Live.”) Head-parts down, thoraces to the grindstone, they live forever. Den or no den, stale baguette on a Park Avenue countertop or regurgitated bread pudding on Delancey, they get by. By some stretch of my addled imagination, I aspire to be like them (except for the Delancey business).
Resilient, resourceful, and (very nearly) shameless, I’m eking out my Roach Life.