A Bug’s Life

Slate Gray Gallery

A small spider was crawling on my starched dress shirt as I sat on Earl Garrett between Water and Main Streets. I’m across from Slate Gray Gallery, where Karen works. It’s three buildings east of The Heckler Building, whose beautiful new brick-face façade I wrote about yesterday. Well, I actually wrote more about Super Duty pick-up tailpipes, and chances are I’m not going to write much about spiders except to say that I was appreciating this little guy from a kind of urbanist-turned-country folk naturalist standpoint, and instead of smashing it to death, I thought I’d kindly flick it off my nicely pressed, starched dress shirt (which, I should mention, costs $0.50 more here per shirt than in NYC) so that it could go about its nice Friday and have a Wonderful Spider Life.

But I flicked it too hard.

And part of its tiny and beautiful, apparently more-fragile-than-I-anticipated, body remained on my nicely pressed starched shirt.

I felt bad. Really. For a moment. And then I realized that I. Hate. Bugs. They creep me out.

I realize this doesn’t help my naturalist credentials.

And it’s certainly not why I inadvertently ended its Friday. It is why I flicked it off me, however.

Last night there was this huge freakin’ gray thing outside the door on the frame. Karen pointed out that it was a grasshopper–I was tempted to say “reminded me” it was a grasshopper as if I had temporarily forgotten, as if I hadn’t thought it was some mysterious creature waiting there to haunt and vex me, like something already dead but yet alive in an Edgar Allan Poe story, buried in the wall or floorboards but now out and ready to pounce as I walked by unaware. In fact, a couple weeks ago I was driving on Robinson Avenue between Myrta and Barnett and something–I now know it was this

Image from “A Bug’s Life.” copyright: Big Corporation that will probably get acquired before this gets posted.

hideous being…I mean did you ever see “A Bug’s Life”??!! Cartoon caricatures reveal truth about these creatures from hell–something flew right through the open window–Gracie’s air-conditioning doesn’t really work–and into my face and then got stuck in my hair (as it were). I swerved and swatted at whatever this thing was, protecting my Thinking Place, and luckily there was no one coming the other way. This creature got stuck in my car, and as soon as I could stop I let it out the passenger side door. My middle son even agrees; we spoke about this the other night. That settles it.

But not my youngest. He once held, gladly, a “hissing cockroach.”

Cockroaches. Hissing.

This is why they survive eons.

People like me won’t stand and fight.



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