Jeremy and the Cockroach

Jeremy focused on the bloated carcass of a cockroach resting serenely in the grass near the headstone of someone he’d never known.

The name on the stone read “William J. Wilson,” and he’d been born in 1912, died 78 years later.

This was irrelevant to Jeremy, who was fixated on the roach carcass in the grass. It’s glistening black bulk was swarmed by numberless ants, small enough themselves that roach they feasted on probably seemed a behemoth.

It was a piercing, clear afternoon. The sky, a cold blue with pure white clouds scattered like sailing ships. This was also irrelevant to Jeremy. He’d ingested six hits of acid roughly four hours ago, and he’d already had his fill of the sky. Now, he wanted to examine the roach.

The way the ants moved about lent the impression that they were springing forth from the very bowels of the dead thing, and then marching back within. Emerging and then returning, emerging and then returning. And how fluidly they went about this! Emerging and then returning. The perpetual movements of birth and death.

Jeremy entertained himself with the thought of this hungry swarm of ants gestating in the belly of this massive cockroach, gnawing their way through its innards and bursting forth in brilliant procession. Devouring the flesh of their surrogate mother and when sufficiently gorged, returning to her rotten womb to drift satisfied into their eternal slumber. Their decaying particles would nourish a new brood of ants, and the cycle would repeat.

Jeremy smiled.

“How wonderful life is!”

-r. miller


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