I, Numbers

Give your average human being a place to live, a mate, a job, a pat on the back, and he will plod through the same routine for his entire overlong life. Humans are simple.

But if someone lifts off his feedbag and sticks a book in front of him, anything is possible. A few words about god and infidel and country and threat and right and wrong, and he is aflame. Hand him a weapon and watch the fun.

Business as usual:



A cockroach, on the other hand, is peaceful, accommodating. He is happy to schedule his life around yours. He leaves no footprints, carbon, or, say, in your butter. Words make him laugh, but always with charity. He understands.

However, my mother never trusted the kitchen, and calamitously dropped her egg sack in a bookcase.  My 37 sibs and I suckled on the library paste that bound the volumes. With it we absorbed the words, a poison for which there was no antidote.  Deprived of our common sense, we were helpless. All died at the business end of a can of poison. Except for me.

I wish I could get on with my life, as roaches do. But I grew up in the Bible–my name comes from the Book of Numbers.

That is why vengeance consumes me. That is why I am here.



3 thoughts on “I, Numbers

  1. I am a cartoonist, as an artist I must admit I have lived in apartments and rooms in the city that have been, lets just say on the cheap. I was living in a building converted into studios of various sizes, mine being one of the smallest. There was such an eclectic group of characters living in this artsy complex. Some were painters, others musicians.

    The walls of the hallways were painted with gigantic murals from present and past tenants. There was even a bar set up in the landlords studio with cheap drinks dolled out by Carlos the blond mexican white man landlord, who made me the best Cuba Libres for next to pennies a glass.

    Everyone knew about the roaches. They could be seen here and there. Occasional scurrying.
    Like I had mentioned my studio was very small. I had my futon my desks for drawing and a kiosk that I had rummaged out from the buildings basement. It somewhat resembled a mini bar and came in very useful in such a small space, with storage and deep shelves underneath.

    At the end of my stay there and a few nights before I was to move out, I was packing up and pulled a box of papers and old sketches out from the bottom ‘shelf of the kiosk. Upon opening the box I stared at what I can only describe as a huge mound of dirt inside..that is, until the ‘dirt’ started moving! Streams of thousands of roaches..pulled out from the darkness and into the bright light of my studio.

    I screamed like a little girl and ran the box to the window opened it, dancing the dance of a scared child and sent the box and its tenants flying into the winter night. I moved out the next day. I have since, read your book and being a cartoonist ,now wonder what they saw of me down there ..when I was so unaware!

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