I left the kitchen window open all night and in the morning I had a cockroach in my sink—a big, brown ogre of a bug crouched and ready to scuttle out. He had been eating soggy onion chunks stuck in the drain trap and couldn’t climb up the slick walls. I chased him with a lettuce box and he fell into it. He shook his antennae at me and I stuck him in the pantry.

I won’t lie—it’s lonely to move. My apartment is empty apart from a table and four chairs, standard stove and fridge, far less than a closetful of clothes, a mess of books and an air mattress that lets me down each night. I thought having a roach in a box might spruce things up a bit—somewhere between a plant and a pet. I gave him an apple core and glued a gold bead to his head. He runs back and forth, leading with his crown as if trying to teach me a game.

My roach isn’t housebroken, though, and I don’t intend to train him. His box is filling up to a point unsanitary even for vermin. I thought about tossing him over the neighbors’ fence since they have a vegetable garden, but I try to keep more friends than enemies and the former number’s looking low. I’ll take him to the far back corner of my yard and let him out by the tree. He probably won’t make it back inside the house at least until Akasha gets here, and when that happens I’ll have to act like I’m upset to see him.