We arrive in the state of Florida late at night. One week later. Hour after hour on the road in a cramped crowded camper and Bob. My avoidance of him number one on my agenda every day and every hour.
I can smell the sweet smells of this foreign state even though it's dark and the middle of the night.
We are all exhausted.
Our new home is in Plant City, Florida.
I didn't know it at the time but the realtor had sent Bob a key to our new place. He bought it sight unseen.
We arrive and all huddle around the front door. Exhausted, dark and very late.
All of us wait in anticipation as Bob slides the key into the lock of the front door. All I want to do is find a place to lay down and sleep.
The camper, three kids, hunger and fear of Bob have all taken it's toll.
Open the door and let's go inside and sleep in the new house. Fear of Bob and his sexual advances far more abhorrent than Barbara's face-marring punches, pinches, kicks and hair-pulling.
The key finally slides into place and we gather to see our new home.
I am so happy.
A new start.
A new life.
I enter last and everyone else has frozen as if touched by some mythological being. I push my way into the doorway unafraid.
Why is everyone so shocked?
I nudge my way forward....
I see hear it before I see it....
The clicking waving sounds invade my ears.
Musty and dank. Unused and stale.
My eyes see it but I still don't understand.
The walls of the front room of the house seem to be shimmering and waving.
Swaying. Slithering. Clicking.
Blue gray in the beam of the flashlight, shimmering and dark. Menacing yet hypnotizing.
Bob's flashlight shines a light on the sight and that sound... I still can not make it out.
What is that sound?
What is the clicking waving movement?
Barbara runs off into the night screaming. I am happy. Whatever has made her flee can not be all bad, right? Her running away makes me giggle inside. Her shrieks of fear fading as she distances herself from us and this house.
I peer into the darkened front room.
I am not afraid.
I don't get it... yet.
I am from Indiana. Nothing like this has ever been seen by my eyes but I learn later is normal to Florida.
The walls seem to be alive and moving.
The walls are alive!
The movement, clicking and shimmery waves are from COCKROACHES!!!
The house is alive with them.
Crawling and slithering up and down the walls, the ceiling, the floor! Beautiful waves and walls of roaches.
Marching angry cockroaches. Rolling walls of Cockroaches!
Clicking and disturbed by the light and the sound of humans.
They move constantly as if in protest. Up and down the walls. Across the floor. Marching like Army ants. Clicking as they marched.
Silvery waves of giant bugs. Ugly bugs.
The walls not visible thru the hundreds of roaches moving up and down. Scurrying but not really afraid.
Bob bought a house sight unseen and it is infested with millions and millions of giant cockroaches!
He slams the door shut in fear and frustration. Slides the lock securely as if to lock them inside.
We all pile back in to the crammed camper to sleep. The house forgotten.
The next day we all emerge from the cramped camper and move into a trailer park. We are now field workers.
Strawberries and Oranges.
Plant City, Florida
I feel like we are in a foreign country.
I feel that life is about to change....