I learned a great deal from an insect today.
My family was driving back from an afternoon of apple donuts and errands. Thoughts of financial obligations were haunting my mind when I noticed there was a bug on my window. I peered closely and its species was foreign to me, with its particularly shaped head, almond shaped body, and flicking antennas. It was about 3/4 the length of my pinky’s fingernail. In reminisce of my childhood, I rolled down the window to prepare its execution. The bug froze as if it knew something was wrong.
I rolled the window all the way down with a light push of a button. When I rolled the window back up, the bug seemed dazed, its antennas wavering. Yet it still stood sturdily in the face of strong winds. So I rolled the window all the way back up. If the winds would not carry it to its death, then I’d finish the job (praying its carcass wouldn’t drop inwards). A few seconds go by and the heat in the car began to build up, and I roll down the window again.
There it was— still alive. Shaken, weak, but alive. I imagined it had been dragged downwards when I retracted the window, evidence by a trail of its bodily fluid scraped against the window. I pulled the window to a halfway point and studied how the bug climbed onto the edge again and faced outward. My thoughts urged it to jump or attempt to fly. Instead the bug seated itself firmly, letting the fury winds batter its antennas, sticking whatever it had on its insect legs on the window as best as it could.
Its antennas wiggled mantically. It began to pace in the same spots on the window as if contemplating what to do. I watched its enjoyment, fear, panic, and all the emotions that go in between– or at least, the emotions I projected onto the bug– for a few blocks. The afternoon sun warmed the right side of my face, shoulder, and arm. By then my entomophobia had subsided and my mind drifted back to a flow of other thoughts, of my obligations, what it means to be ambitious and successful, and all other cases excluding the repulsiveness of the bug.
When I looked back to the window a few blocks later, I found the small area where it struggled to be empty. I skimmed the rest of the window and it was not there. It was not crawling across the car door or onto my arm. In a strange turn of events I found myself missing its wiggling, and how its antennas waved wildly in the air, the afternoon sun’s heat neutralized by autumn winds. Yet I still felt relieved it was no longer there, and wondered what had happened… the actions that transpired, if the bug had decided to leap or if the winds finally swept it off its feet. It was most unexpected that a bug would touch my life in this way.
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