Pests crawling in rapid multi-leg fashion up and down walls, racing down corridors. Nothing scares the human mind more than having to compete with unpredictable bugs and vermin. It is this otherness, not human. But there is an important ecosystem as to which they are a part. I heard a news story the other day about how rats are being affected by this pandemic, rats that typically feed off restaurant dumpster leftovers and trash. Now that everything is closed, or open on a pickup only basis, there’s nothing really there for them to scavenge anymore. So they are becoming more aggressive, fighting and eating each other without their normal food source. It’s horrible, disgusting. Thankfully humans are not at that breaking point yet. Trucks still show up to supermarkets and employees work hard to support their communities. Sprays and gels, ticks and turmeric. Prayer and a call to the exterminator. Waiting by a Wednesday, sounding off the names of slugs and rodents. Pincers and claws and sharp teeth, spider webs ensnare and entrap unsuspecting subjects. I hope I never have to touch or kill them ever again, though spiders are our friends. I try to let to go and grant mercy when I can. But when one starts descending from the ceiling while you sleep, that is where I draw the line. Blurry spot. You think it’s a dream. Open your eyes and put on your glasses to see it’s not.