Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cockroaches and the Like

I will say this for Dallas cockroaches: they are slow. I forget this when they only make a semi-annual appearance. Four in a week, however, and you have time to take notice. Slow emerging from under the ottoman. Slow scuttling around the sink. There is time, in fact, to retrieve a sandal or a paper towel from the other room and return to find your target more or less where you left it. It's so handy that Dustin and I were wondering if we should do more to encourage this desirable trait, if we should release these individuals back into the gene pool instead of selecting against them with a newspaper. But so far we aren't convinced it's the cockroaches themselves. It might just be the weather.

If everything is bigger in Texas, everything is also slower in the heat. This is only the 11th hottest summer on record in Dallas, a summer that drops from a high of 106 long enough to remind you that 94  can feel downright balmy, but still warm enough to put everything in slow motion. The cats lazing on lawns don't tense their muscles to run away, instead give us long looks before deciding it's not worth retreating to safety as we pass by them on our evening walk. Squirrels have likewise reduced their worry radius, letting us come within three feet before they manage enough interest to skitter towards a tree, and then reevaluating if they really have to expend the energy to climb up. The birds, too, have adjusted their risk tolerance, and maintaining a protective distance loses out to avoiding heat stroke.

Maybe it's the heat, too, that accounts for me dreaming of cockroaches. I dreamed last night that every time I went to crush a cockroach, it was a rhinoceros beetle or a scarab or something the size of a cockroach but with the most beautiful iridescent bodies. I remember that I had killed two, though their bodies were intact, and I needed to save them, one like a stick insect and one like a leaf bug, because my mother would want to see them.


Gavin said...

I think it is great that you are so thoughtful, even in your dreams. Mom would definately want to see interesting bugs.

Lina said...

. . . you take "evening strolls." 'Nuff said.