Sunday, March 11, 2007

Tip 23 and notes on the journey of a bug across my shower wall

Krebscout Survival Tip #23: Don't let moisture from the sky lure you out onto the deadly, deadly sidewalk.

So ... many ... earthworms died last week, and for no other reason than to watch the rain. In honor of their passing, or perhaps because of their passing (in the sense that their spirits transmigrated into the beetle in question, as souls tend to find beetles to inhabit), I will commit to blog my thoughts about a bug.

I shared my shower with one of those small, friendly beetles this morning. It crawled down and to the left, traversing the faux marble surface and the faded purple crayon with great perseverance. I wondered at his motives. Bugs should, I hypothesized, travel for three reasons: to find food, to avoid death, or to find a mate. None of these motivations were manifest on the wall of my shower, yet the beetle walked really quite far in relative terms. And if he was seeking something specific, something that only his super bug senses could detect, why was he using such a meandering line to get there? His path took on a general trend of straightness (which eventually formed a series of connected greater than and less than signs), but he kept making little turns and taking small detours and I wanted to reprimand him on the overall inefficiency of his life. I wondered if perhaps he was trying to find the tastiest pocket of condensation, or if he was avoiding potentially toxic soap residue depositories, or if he was simply taking the lazy route in the subtle topography of the surface. Then I wondered if, like drunkards and Christians, he simply wavered sometimes when he had every intention of walking with perfect straightness. Or maybe, I finally thought, this was a Taoist beetle instead, and he had never had the intent to take a straight path.

I made for my shampoo, and when I turned to the beetle again he had disappeared. No, he really had. I laughed out loud at the cliche of it. Why is it that every transcendent experience, romantic moment, or deep tragedy has to end obscurely, trail off, cut to the next scene? Why is it that every important visitor/teacher/messenger leaves with a, "And when I turned back around, he was gone"? Would it make him less important if he sat down to put his shoes back on, walked out the door, and left the protagonist to make a sandwich? I think filmmakers and writers (with the exception, perhaps, of Nicholson Baker, but I swear I don't think about this man all the time) are afraid of portraying that expanse of down time, that moment in January right after you've put all the Christmas decorations away and you sit on your couch in your now-bland living room and eat all the reject hard candy from three weeks ago just because you know nobody else will? I'd like to be a writer with the guts to do that.

And that's what I thought about a bug.

6 reason(s) to click here:

ahem. said...

We really should try to get that crayon off the walls sometime in the near future.

Genuine Draft said...

yeah, sorry about that.

flippin said...

Again, writing group. Like, now.

L'Afro said...

Krebscout: I've never drawn the correlation between drunkards and Christians. If I had a hat, I'd tip it.

Kismet Keeper said...

I also think that "as souls tend to find beetles to inhabit" should be a title bar quote. (I say, "also" because this is the second comment I've left today.)

Thirdmango said...

I finally had time to read this today. You know I agree with it all except the part that says "reject hard candy from three weeks ago" because by that time instead I;m having the reject candy from Halloween since I filled up two pillow sacks worth of halloween candy. Oh man, my stomach.