The Bug

The Bug

A Story by Mike Defreitas

A bug. A stupid f*****g, insignificant insect. 

I’m sitting down on my big comfy blue couch at the library when suddenly I feel something crawling on my neck. Eww. Instictively my arm reaches back and I take whatever’s there into my hand and throw it as far away from me as possible.

Curious as to what I had just thrown, I got up and went towards the other couch where I threw it. Lying there, feet straggling in the air, upside down, was some sort of bug. Yellow with black stripes. Long. Looking at it struggling to find its place, it’s little itty bitty legs touching the air but finding no surface, the world upside down and away. 

I felt some sort of compassion for it so I tugged on the lower cushion allowing the bug to right itself and find its way whereever it wanted to go.

I sat there, reflecting on how I felt about this little bug. Funny, I thought to myself, how moved I am by it. Yes. It’s just a bug. But its alive and moving and seems to know what it wants and it certainly doesn’t want to be upside down caught between the back and lower cushion. 

After a few minutes of sitting and reading, I look toward the table. The bug is there. The same bug as before. He’s just sitting on the round circular table with seemingly no plans for moving anywhere else. I think to myself, is he injured? I hope not. I even feel a little bit of guilt for so strongly pulling him off my back and whipping him away from me. I hope he isn’t injured. 

For a good twenty minutes I read and glance from time to time at where the bug is. Same place. Still on the table, but he’s rounding it’s circular edges. I think to myself, oh, is he trying to get off the table? Are his wings injured? I don’t know. 

I contemplate taking him off the table and bringing him outside the library into the lush gardens. A part of me thinks its weird. What would other people think? Me walking with a book stretched out and a bug sitting on it? I don’t care enough to let this stop me. But the bug wont take to the book. So i let him be. 

Finally, after sitting still for awhile, the bug moves and decides on a place he wants to be. I look at him. He’s facing me, directly. I almost think that he’s trying to get into my coffee mug. Or maybe he’s planning a sneak attack? Crazy. It’s a f*****g bug. They don’t have a nervous system complex enough to think anything of me. They just are. Plant eaters. They serve some purpose in the larger ecological order. But they don’t think or in any way interact with us the way our silly minds sometimes project.

Then, he lifts off. it almost seems hard for him. And where does he lift off to? My couch. Right towards me. I’m feeling almost a chummy empathy for what this bug is going through. I leave him be. I want him to live. 

I watch as he walks around the blue couch. Heading to the edge, I spot him and decide to ignore him. Thought i’m also feeling icky that this bug could come towards me. For some weird reason, this bug seems to be preoccupied with my presence. 

Then he comes towards one of my books and decided to climb atop. Ok. I think to myself. Innocent enough. He’s just a bug. 

And then something happens. The bug is sitting on my book, again, squared towards me. From the side of my gaze I note it and get a particular idea of whats about to happen. Just when I fully direct myself at him, the little b*****d flies up right into my f*****g eye! In a split second, I adjust myself to push him away, and in doing so my leg hits the coffee I was drinking off the table and onto the floor. A f*****g mess. And it was caused by this menacing, interested little b*****d of a bug. 

After I clean up the mess and feel guilty about causing yet another stain on the library carpet. I’m seething. I want to find this little b*****d for making me feel so stupid, in trusting him, in causing me to spill my coffee and ruin the Libraries carpet. I’m angry. AT A F*****G BUG. 

Recognizing how silly this is but still feeling something - shame? - at having lost my coffee, stained a carpet and made somewhat of a scene - I battle within myself trying to understand this feeling of revenge I feel. Why? It’s a bug, I tell myself. Additionally, I note, he probably didn’t mean anything of it. So why then, I wonder, was he so preoccupied with me? He had the whole library before him, but he stuck to where he found me. Where I threw him away from me. He went back to the table. Jumped onto my couch. Then flew in my face. Why? I don’t know. But a more spiritual part of me wondered, is he asking for help? Was he hurt? And was my feeling of goodwill, of spiritual kinship with acalymma vittatum, did he feel it? Did he come to me, feeling somewhere within his minuscule brain that I was safe? Could be trusted? Hard to know.

When I found the bugger hiding underneath my white bag, I’d like to say that I looked at him with pity, or with some sort of compassion, but I was still reeling from my irritation at his having caused me such frustration. A bug. So I got my thumb and held my middle finger as strongly as possibly, and flicked the little a*****e away from me. Far. But not far enough. He came back, AGAIN, when I flicked him even further away. He stayed away. Vanished into the insect ether. 

© 2014 Mike Defreitas

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Added on July 12, 2014
Last Updated on July 12, 2014
Tags: Bug, Story, Compassion