December 2016 - Comments Off

Will Larsen

Some Bugs

        Evolutionarily, butterflies don’t understand walls. Butterflies don’t understand ceilings. Hell, most bugs are a lot dumber than I am. Moths, for instance. Who in their right mind flies toward a light?

        Cockroaches, though. Cockroaches get it. When was the last time you saw a pile of dead cockroaches in the windowsill of an abandoned house? Doesn’t happen. Cockroaches run away from light. They just really get it--they get walls, even. They get walls so intuitively that they get inside them. Not between them, like we do. Inside them.

        Now, don’t get me wrong, here: I’m as quick to smile at butterflies and stomp on cockroaches as the next guy. Who am I, Bruce the Entomologist? As if. I don’t hold a boundless respect for insect life. Mostly contempt, actually. Loathing. Some degree of fear, maybe. Wasps, for instance--wasps are fucked up. I punch wasps when they get near me.

        And of course Bruce gets upset every single time. Bruce. Come on. Punching a wasp usually doesn’t kill it, and wasps fight with numbers anyway. For every wasp I punch, there’s two more hatching in a little wasp nest with hexagonal walls hanging from a tree or a ceiling somewhere. Who are you to get so twisted out of shape over some bugs?

        Damn. Wasps get ceilings better than I get Bruce. But Bruce gets wasps, and I get ceilings. And Bruce and I get walls. Well, so far I haven’t been stung by any of the wasps I punched. Maybe humanity will come out ahead in the end. If so, I’ll miss the butterflies. If not, the roaches won’t have my walls to hide in any more, and they’ll have to go back to the trees we came from.

        Quit trying to fly toward the light, Bruce. That’s not the way we go.

Published by: in Issue 1 : Fall 2016, Prose, Volume 73

Comments are closed.