Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Lady MacBeth of Soap


When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. He was lying on his back as hard as armor plate, and when he lifted his head a little, he saw his vaulted brown belly, sectioned by arch-shaped ribs, to whose dome the cover, about to slide off completely, could barely cling. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, were waving helplessly before his eyes.
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemies.
Nelson Mandela

...I try to have compassion for all things...all living things, in particular...and yet, when I see a cockroach running across my kitchen linoleum...smack goes my bare hand, as nothing else can be grabbed quickly enough to get the fucker before he disappears into a crack somewhere...which means I’ve got cockroach pieces & guilt all over my fingers...so I go to the bathroom & wash it off with water & my environmentally conscious soap...and yet, some little brown slice o’ cockroach sticks to the soap...and it won’t come off...seriously, it’s like the Lady MacBeth of soap...

13 comments:

svasti said...

Well, as I see it... you've got two options.

1. Dig a little deeper, do not just 108 sun salutations, try 1,008... then, and only then, just maybe... you might find compassion in your heart even for cockroaches.

2. Use liquid environmentally conscious soap - then the little brown pieces'll either stick to your hands or end up down the plug hole.

And you can send Lady McBeth back to her own private insanity...

Aggie said...

That Nelson Mandela quote is spot on. Eww to bits of cockroach ... perhaps we kill out of instinctive reaction to fear.

Liz said...

You brought back a memory! I read Metamorphosis in high school! :D

Looking to the Stars said...

Mandella's quote spoke straight to my heart, thank you for sharing it.

Lydia said...

Nelson Mandella is so very fine. I was in the throngs...curbside...when New York City welcomed him with a ticker tape parade in 1990.

I feel what you're saying about the bugs. It's already shaping up to be a really bad year for those tiny little ants. Scouts have appeared in the kitchen. I can't yet kill them and have been picking them up and placing them in the garbage can. Hopefully they'll be interested in that little cave until it gets emptied into the larger cave outside that'll be emptied into the giant moving cave that comes down the street on Tuesdays.

Tamara said...

I can cry for a puppy with no home but there are no tears for the roach murder. Bare hands though, EWWWWW.

melissa said...

That Mandela quote is one of my favorites in my collection.

I try not to kill anything, I really do, but a few times we've had black widow spiders come inside our dining room and I just... I can't. I grab a paper towel, tell it I'm sorry, but it can't live with us, and flush it down the toilet. I'd try to let it outside, as I have done with other bugs, but I admit my fear of getting a bite is a bit too strong.

We don't get roaches here, but I'll kill them too, though I feel badly then as well. And ewww roach bits... *shiver*

Gypsy at Heart said...

I'm sure that in the compassion for all living creatures list, there is a built in loophole for obliterating cockroaches. I wouldn't be able to use the hand though. And the thought of a cockroach leg stuck to my hand soap is beyond what I could bear.

Like everyone else Jay, I loved the Mandela quote.

earthtoholly said...

This was so funny, drjay...I laugh each time I read it, even though it's about killin' and stuff!

I kill roaches too, except for the "bare hand." I mean I can't even stand the "crunch" beneath a shoe, but do it anyway.

I remember my grandmother, i.e., earthy country woman, crushing wasps between her fingers. If she were living I'd ask her how she rationalized that, being a "god-fearin' church-goer."

Our lives are just full of contradictory behaviors...

Bird said...

Having never lived anywhere infested with roaches they don't inspire the same horror in me, but I'll kill a mosquito without a thought; who wouldn't? Some things just have to go, and it took a lifetime of being bullied by insects for me to get that :)

You might enjoy a bit of roach writing my friend did when he got invaded by the many legged ones...

http://www.willholloway.com/victory.htm

(If you don't like the link, I won't be pissed if you edit it out)

berenice said...

you are a too good hearted man Dr. Jay SW, feeling compassion for multi-legged insects & all... i wouldn't know what to recommend you in the cockroach case, i do have aversion to them too, rats? spiders? worms? bring them on!! but roaches are just the worst!! yet do i suffer too when getting rid of bugs, but i guess the most important part is that you double-question your own actions, keep on that way! there's always room for compassion-improvement any time anywhere

there should be some sort of soul-soap, so one could lather away the guilt, then rinse the pain and repeat with love

Lana Gramlich said...

Mandela's quote reminds me of another (which I offered to a friend in dire need of it at the time); "Anger is like acid. It destroys the vessel that contains it."

RB said...

Roaches don't need our sympathy...they're going to survive the nuclear war that kills the rest of us.