The cockroaches left me a wake-up message, written with saliva and excrement, it was placed conspicuously in a garbage can, where they knew that I’d find it while in search of my morning nourishment, behind the Burger King on 3rd, the dumpsters are full of cold fries and burgers, near the Farmer’s Market and Saint Francis Church.
The note was composed in Spanish, the words singing with Latin rhythm, like lyrics set to the melody of La Cucaracha song, it read like a manifesto. It explained what was this and wasn’t that, pointing out my failures and derelictions, each note-taking aim and hitting home, another wound in an already wounded soul, then it targeted me with a question.
Tell us how it feels Gringo, to have degenerated into a bicho (bug), the epitome of disgust and loathing, a repugnant insect just like us, refugees from sunlight and the day’s saving grace, wearing darkness like a bad tattoo, examples of filth greater than the “nth” degree, in constant search of dank asylum.
I wasn’t pissed off or unnerved by the text, their message spoke the truth, I most likely was looked at as shit wrapped in skin, an old guttersnipe less of the man I had once been, a scourge, a blight, an incurable infection, a scab on the face of God. But how can a fair verdict be reached, if you don’t know where I’ve been, or if my journey to now was smooth or rocky, I yelled to solicit their attention, perk up the hairs on your back legs afford me a response and listen, cockroaches all around me, with shit-eating grins ready to hear my summation.
Once upon a time and not long ago, I lived like a refined Sheikh, I was handsome, wealthy and I thought oh so clever, life was sweeter than a sun-ripened date, I negligently spent friendships and haphazardly bought others, my concern was solely about me, after years of decadent behavior, that would have made Caligula blush, I reaped the consequences of my malfeasance, my magic carpet refused to fly, the password” open sesame ” was changed, my Genie moved out of his bottle, bought a Condo in Miami, wouldn’t take my calls, ignored my wishes, and those friendships I bought, couldn’t be returned for a refund, and were no longer under warranty.
Fate always seeks a just retribution, I was left in the sewage of my pestilence, a kingdom fit for the cockroach I’d become, not regretting the lesson I’d learned, however fate has a left hand that the right isn’t aware of, on occasion it bestows another chance, I was granted a pardon and offered employment, my new job and I’m sure you’ll find this ironic, is as an EXTERMINATOR!
2020 Judge Santiago Burdon All rights reserved.
On an unseasonably cool July morning in Chicago, equivalent to David Copperfield, Judge Burdon was born on a Friday. The Brontes, Keats, Burns and Dickens inspired his study of English Literature. He attended Universities in the United States, London and Paris focusing his studies on Victorian novels and authors.
His short stories and poems have been featured in a variety of magazines, online zines and podcasts. He is presently engaged in finishing his book Imitation of Myself. A non-fiction story detailing his experiences as a drug runner for a Mexican Cartel. Judge celebrated his 65th birthday last July and lives modestly in Costa Rica.