Last night I found a ladybug in my apartment. I discovered it resting on a ceramic drink coaster and initially mistook the ladybug for a smear of pizza sauce. When I touched the pizza sauce, expecting it to cling to my fingertip instead of the coaster, I felt not the soft wet give of tomato paste, but the rigid, crackly shell of ladybug ass. I did not eat it.
I gently lifted the coaster/ladybug and carried it to the open window employing the most humanitarian techniques possible, even though there were no pretty girls watching me. "You are free, m'lady," I cooed. "I am freeing you, like a unicorn sheds its horn or a serial killer frees his tortured prey when he realizes maybe she's just a little too into it all. Like those things, I'm gonna set you free. Oh, and hey, ladybug: All creatures great and small. I'm just saying, is all."
The ladybug did not want to leave the coaster, and stubbornly clung to its edges. If I'm going to be totally honest here, she was kind of being a bitch. But I'm totally in support of women's rights so I was all, "hey, ladybug. I am totally in support of your rights. Please don't freak out, even though, from where you're sitting, that statement probably sounds ridiculous coming from a huge and scary giant with 300 foot-wide pores. The fact is, I am here to help you with a gentle flick." And so I flicked her. I flicked her off the coaster, believing it was what she would have wanted. It was such a well-meaning flick. So supportive. As my finger flicked away, nudging at her shell, I pictured her taking flight and landing on a cloud and drinking nectar from a rainbow and circling back for a second to wink at me fluttering her long ladybug eyelashes and two really pretty girls on the sidewalk witnessing all of this and my beaming face with flawless and glowing skin all framed in the window and the girls on the sidewalk are giving me the thumbs-up and writing a craig's list missed connection ad in their heads right now and the subject line is something like 'to the kind-faced man who sets ladybugs into the wild i want to nest in your curls (park slope) and maybe there's an old man who saw all of this and thought my god my existence hasn't been a cruel meaningless joke i can see that now.
I guess what I'm saying is, I had no idea the ladybug would forget to spread her wings and just plummet three stories to her death when I flicked her. If that ladybug's boyfriend happens to be reading this, I'm sorry. I had the best intentions.
[I am off to Confederate State of North Carolina, until Monday. I expect I will have eaten an entire hog before my trip is through.]