Last night when I opened the dishwasher to set my dinner plate inside, I saw movement at the place where the door meets the washer.

My eyes were there in a flash, in time to see a cockroach skitter out in a mad, looping retreat.

I screamed my I’ve-just-seen-a-cockroach scream and slammed the washer closed.

I’ve dealt with cockroaches before. I’m not really sure why I scream when I see them, or why I recoil from them the way I do. I can handle them dead–well, not handle them, but I can deal with throwing them out, but when they’re darting at inhuman speeds across my floors to potentially hide among my belongings, scurrying into little cracks where they can’t be killed and just waiting for the opportunity to terrorize me, then, well, yeah.

The cockroaches here in Marietta are different from the ones back in Augusta. They’re black rather than slightly reddish, and while I have seen one on the ceiling I’m not sure they do much flying. (Wishful thinking?) They also look like they would crunch a lot more when stepped on, but as I haven’t actually caught one yet, I don’t know for sure.

Regardless, one of these abominations had been in my dishwasher, probably because I’d left it open a crack rather than fully closed, and now I had no idea where it was.

I armed myself with shoes, just in case, then pulled the dishwasher door back down. No sign of the thing on the bottom or among the dishes. I slid my eyes upward…

…and there it was, on the back wall of the dishwasher, nestled right near the corner with the left wall and ceiling.

I had, of course, been giving Sean the running commentary, and as I went for the broom I informed him, “You know, guys are supposed to handle this stuff.” He made some sort of noncommittal noise and I sighed and opened the dishwasher a third time.

Sliding the broom in above the top rack of dishes, I jabbed it forward as hard as I could at that awkward angle, hoping to catch the roach in the bristles of the broom. But maybe Marietta roaches are harder and slicker, or maybe I didn’t jab hard enough. Whatever the reason, the thing simply fell down the wall into the bottom of the dishwasher, and then, as I leapt back, preparing to guide him out with the broom and stomp on him, he crawled with impossible speed into a two-inch wide hole on the back of the dishwasher door I hadn’t noticed before, a place that had apparently been broken out accidentally.

Furious, I closed the dishwasher again.

And that’s the situation as it stands now. I apparently have a cockroach in the door of my dishwasher. Not only that, but there’s a hole in the door of the dishwasher where just anything can crawl in and hang out. Ew.

Today, irritated, I opened the dishwasher, loaded it, put in a detergent sac and ran the thing. There was no sign of the cockroach. No water spilled out of the dishwasher, so I have to assume the closure is airtight…so where’s the roach, then? Still in the door? Did the heat from the drying cycle kill him, or can roaches withstand that much heat? If I open the dishwasher now, will the roach scurry out and get all over my clean dishes?

Or is there a dead cockroach in my dishwasher door…and if so, will he at least serve as a warning to the others?