Karma Punk’d

Two days ago we moved into a furnished sublet in Brooklyn for a temporary stay. The apartment’s owner is a seemingly lovely woman. Had I met her more than twice, each time for less than ten minutes, I might feel inclined to not even use the word seemingly. Her place is aces; a full-floor unit with a great vibe, comfortable furniture, solid AC units, and a bed that for two straight mornings has left me as recharged as any I can remember. There is one rule during our stay here however, one that I’d agreed to happily after spending six months surrounded by the jungle – we were asked kindly to not kill any bugs during our stay – specifically, we were asked to abstain from killing the one or two tiny cockroaches we might see when operating the kitchen sink. I assured our host that this was a task we’d honor, as we’d spent six months living with all manner of insects, and had always done our best to accept them or remove them without killing them, cupping them in various glasses and placing them back into the wild. That said, I’ve come to believe we are on some sort of Buddhist reality TV show. The first two nights here, I’ve encountered far more than the ‘one or two tiny’ cockroaches I’d expected – any trip to the bathroom at night means conducting basic hygiene routines amongst at least a half-dozen small to medium-small roaches – there aren’t hundreds, not even dozens, but there is always just enough to make me think there are an infinite number more lurking all around me. I’ve killed not a one, nor do I intend to. To be honest, aside from the one that crawled onto the couch with me last night, they don’t really phase me the way they might have prior to our residency in Costa Rica. But, I have come to believe there may be hidden cameras recording our resolve – and that in some small television station production room somewhere, a producer, possibly our landlord of two-weeks, has a release-more-roaches button she or he can press while shouting, “I’m going to break these two yet!” I don’t blame her, filming us going back on our word, while commiting violence against anything – even cockroaches – probably makes for better TV and higher ratings. But it isn’t going to happen, I refuse to be Karma Punk’d for the idle thrills of the lazier Buddhists of the world.

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