I have a very blustery cockroach living in my bathroom, and the big brute blames me for his continued lackadaisical love life. I call him Langer because I first saw him high-diving Greg Louganis style into my morning mango-nectar drink shortly after breaking up with FANG, a bi-polar example of femininity if ever there was one. Diving in head first, he would paddle around as if he were a disgraced bank executive taking in his indoor Olympic size pool. Langer would then crawl back out, shake himself off like an Afghan and dive back in, with no regard for the backwash spilling onto the floor. If truth be told, Langer thrives on slippery surfaces. Every morning he greets me when I first walk into the bathroom. He waits for me to miss the rim then begins to freshen up for the day. It would have been easy for me to call him Archy, but given his foul language and surly disposition, I saw no intellectual resemblance to his more famous literary predecessor. Langer neither bangs out poetry on an Underwood nor does he hang around all night long with crusty stogy-smoking newspaper reporters covering the police beat while reading Krazy Kat.
For years Langer has demanded I remove the above circa 1930's Scott Tissue advertising poster from my bathroom. According to him, it frightens away all his lady friends. The man's scowl apparently gives his female companions a most delirious form of the vapors; most come from well-to-do Republican homes in the southland, so any inference that Bolshevism exists on my bathroom floor, hidden among old pizza crumbs and scraps of toilet paper freaks the honeys out. I tell him that he can always use the line, "Come upstairs and see my etchings." He reminds me that quaint remark has never worked for me; the poster in question is merely a dime store copy and tastes like it as well.
Langer pays no rent, and he rarely turns off the lights after he leaves a room, therefore the poster stays. Anyway, I have nothing more appropriate to cover the earthquake cracks that creep further and further upwards with every Southern California temblor. I tell him, "There's the crack, leave anytime you want and don't let the dry wall hit anyone of your eighteen kneecaps." He laughs like a Saturday morning villain and then threatens me with some Ninja moves if I don't pour him another mango smoothie. He has also taken a fancy to the weight-watchers "cure for cancer" fungus growing under my sink. He's not leaving anytime soon.
So this morning I wake up to the sound of Mondo Grosso coming from my bathroom. This is odd for I only listen to bottleneck blues and Cajun music before I start my day. Only one character I know hates my music and would dare change the pre-sets. Inside the bathroom Langer stands half drunkenly, listing from side to side, humming to himself, celebrating life, in a pile of old shaving cream suds. Intoxicated once again on that week old spilt virgin olive oil on the kitchen floor. How he finds his way back to the bathroom is anyone's guess. I should finally clean that mess up near the encrusted raisin bran pile, but Langer is funny when drunk. He can't play gin worth a hoot then.
This morning Langer is not alone. He has company, plenty of company, yet no one pays any attention to him. All stare up at the wall, more entranced by what they see there than Langer's slurred come hither gyrations. That damn free loading roommate of mine had changed the poster. I'm mortified and red faced as I read along with the others, our mouths slowly moving in unison over every shocking word. Who knew such stuff even existed? I excuse myself and go outside. I feel faint. I believe I do have the vapors, Miss Scarlett. But it is sunrise and certain needs must be performed because I am a still healthy male. Thank goodness for the knotty pine across the street, but damn if I didn't miss the rim again.
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