Sunday, August 27, 2006

When it thunders, my earth shakes, and so begins...

...another night of abject darkness, where I may be lost without light; without electric I can't communicate and so my world will be a void until the storm passes. I hear the storm approaching, and make preparations for an evening of solace. This is the first thunder storm we've encountered in a bit, so maybe the hot spell is over? I can't wait until it cools again so I can wear my sweater and cover up at night with a quilt.

Dead Cricket Disposal Expert Needed!

I admit I killed him. I watched him crawl off and die. I won’t lie to you, I actually enjoyed it. But now I feel guilty. I didn’t when he first appeared at the entrance to my bedroom. I didn’t when I rushed outside and grabbed a can of bug spray. I didn’t as he wiggled, crawled on his back legs helplessly about the carpet, and flopped over on his back in a final death throe.

I watched in awe. Black flag death reigns supreme. I watched the last moments of Mr. Cricket as he lay on the bathroom tile, withering in pain from the chemicals I had introduced to him. I paused a moment to think. “Who is going to pick him up and dispose of the body?”

I was at a loss. I hadn’t thought about that part of my murder plan. I was easily excited by the demise of a chirped invader, but alas! What to do with the remains? How can I, me of such gentle nature and befriend of nature, dispose of my murdered pest?

The day passed in silence as I pondered and wondered what to do about my little problem in the bathroom. I scooted past it (I say it because I don’t know his name) several times during my regular routines. But I couldn’t help and stare at the lifeless corpse that stood between me and the toilet. I was perplexed, distraught, and nearly grabbed a cloth to cover up my murderous act. But I couldn’t face him, or it, as I was too ashamed to acknowledge my crime.

I hadn’t thought of it, him, as such until later in the day. I needed refreshment after a grueling schedule. I needed time to relax and think of something pleasant. The mood of my afternoon became merry and I thought of a song to hymn while making a refreshing drink.

A noise? A chirp?

I listened and then I heard it again. My glass shattered on the floor. I had not forgotten my victim, but had not thought to hear him begin the banter of harmony that chilled my bones. I paled behind a ghostly thought. “Do crickets become ghosts if wronged in this life?”

I didn’t know the answer and really didn’t want to know if it was true. I only knew one thing and that was somebody had to get rid of the cricket or I would never get any rest.

There would be no sleep tonight until I found someone to dispose of my victim. But who? Who could I count on to keep my secret? I paced back and forth pondering my options. Should I call the police? Should I ask the animal control people to pick up the remains of my brief foray into murder? Who? Who can I trust?

The door to my apartment opens, as I suspected it would when my son returned from his scheduled afternoon adventures. I took him aside and explain the situation, careful to omit my glee while the cricket twitched in agony, while describing the events as best as I could recall under the circumstances. He listened, shook his head and politely replied “But dad, it’s just a cricket. Why can’t you do it yourself?”

He didn’t understand. How could I expect him to know of my guilt? How was he supposed to understand the torment I felt by enjoying the murder and death of a living creature? What could I say to explain my repulsion by the excitement I experienced for those few minutes while my victim clung to life, and expelled his last breath on this earth?

I begged him because of my weakened state of mind. I explained to him how I had not felt well since it happened. I was vague to the manner of my murder, but I think he understood somehow because he did what I could not. He packaged the cricket into a paper tissue and disposed of him just like an expert. I was in the kitchen, waiting patiently, and hoping he could forgive me.

The dead went quietly into my toilet without fanfare or family to bid him a safe journey. So I had imagined, and so had I hoped, until the chirp returned. I clearly heard the unmistaken rubbing of angry wings together while I lay in bed. I knew somehow that my crime would not go unpunished. I had thought no less than my own death at the hand of someone who would spray me with chemicals. I fancied the idea about in my head. The tick-tock in anguish became too much for me and I was exhausted from my schedule to remain awake.

But sleep was not so easy as I heard what I believe to be the chirp of another cricket. Or maybe it wasn’t?

{complete the rest later for publication}