I met another cockroach today. On the subway platform on my way home from work. He was standing next to me, wearing a bow tie and a ridiculous monocle. I was trying to be subtle, watching him from the corner of my eye, holding my book close to my face to make it seem as if I was still perusing its pages. He noticed. He cleared his throat.
"Do you need something miss?"
"No. I'm sorry."
"Why are you sorry?"
"Because I was being rude."
"Yes you were."
Silence. For a moment.
"What is your name?"
Some more silence. Where is that blasted train?
Then he spoke to me.
"What are you reading?"
"Sorry. The Fall. I'm reading The Fall."
"Oh. I see. I don't have much of a palette for that prickly, ill-natured shit."
"Really? It seems to me that someone like you would like this."
"Why? Because I'm a cockroach? Why is it that humans always suppose that just because I have an exoskeleton I would waste my time reading something so morose and severe. I prefer a little light hearted humor, and nothing too political at that."
"I've been enjoying The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood as of late."
"Yes really. Miss, if you don't mind me saying, you could stand to improve your manners."
"I should hope so."
And with that the train pulled in and Gregor scuttled onto the train, did an about face and gave me a sour expression as the doors closed in his face, with The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood tucked under his top two left arms.