The first time I saw you was in the late hours of the night. It was quick a first. Just a flutter. I convinced myself it was the streetlights. But you wanted me to see you. You looped back and that’s when I caught you in your entirety. Your small lumpy body covered in grey cracked skin. Your tail flicked at me like a sinister wink.
If I was honest, I knew all along. You kept showing me who you were, but I didn’t want to believe. I saw the holes in my plant, but I wrote it off, the perfect dig sites to soil erosion. I saw the bite marks in the cereal box, but I blamed Gristedes. You ate through my Juicy sweatpants and I said the material was cheap. You even pooped on my shirt and I brushed it off as dust.
Oh Jerry. I never wanted to hate you, why couldn’t you let it be? You had to be cocky. You had to be bold. Showing off that you weren’t scared. I won’t forget the first time you came out in daylight as if I wasn’t home. I saw you peek your head out as you slid on your tippie toes. You didn’t even bother to hug the walls. You puffed up your chest and trotted through the center of the room.
And then there was no more denial, only agony. You kept me awake each night, scurrying around, reminding me you were there. A big ball of disease. You wore me down slowly, more and more each day. The slightest sound still makes me leap.
And now we are here. Face to face. You’re still. I think you also know this is your demise. It’s not going to be pretty, and I apologize for that. I wanted to be humane, I really did. You wouldn’t let me.
This is our ending. I’ll try to make it easy for you, like I always did. The first moment you hit the glue, you’ll just be confused. The next second will be the worst. That’s when you’ll know you’re stuck. I won’t let it go much longer. Just know I never wanted this.
more by ANNA KOWALCZUK
photograph from unsplash