My shoes are strewn around the apartment – one in the bathroom by the toilet, one by the bookcase in the living room, the brown Keen in the kitchen by the stove – and I pad around in one flip-flop. All night, I’ve been slapping at cucarachas the size of trucks. I’m 5 for 5 tonight. They’re too big to dart – they lumber – giving me ample time to raise my size 10 in the air and connect with a loud smack, leaving yellow guts on my ceramic floor. I try not to look, but I have to scoop them up quick, or the baby ant armies will arrive in formation and deftly abscond with the corpses, a funeral march of insect proportions.
In my sloppy hast, I left a single leg on the kitchen floor – came back 15 minutes later limping in my single flip-flop – and the leg was being carried out the service area door to the hoots and hollers of the victorious ant army – until I got out my bottle of Windex and commenced the chemical warfare. I won.
Now perched on my sofa sipping my paloma, too squeamish to venture into the dark waters of sleep, I hold vigil. Tiny movements of the wind in the drapes give me a start. I image the queen bee entering my Rincon, busting the door down, and devouring me.
I take another gulp of squirt-diluted tequila, my ice melting fast, the sweat from the glass dripping onto my leg, and hope the agave gets to my head quick enough that I won’t know what hit me if that queen beetle did show up.