The Unusually Destructive Ladybug
A ladybug lives next to a sewage treatment plant in New York. The ladybug lives alone and likes it, and has achieved mutation. The ladybug bathes daily in powerful chemicals flowing from the sewage treatment plant. She becomes addicted to the chemicals. One day the ladybug decides to visit Times Square.
"I will go to Times Square," the ladybug says. "Right now."
"I will go with you," a grasshopper says. The grasshopper is chewing on a leaf. Green juice is dribbling down his chin. The ladybug feels disgusted by this.
"No," the ladybug says. "You will not."
The ladybug crawls up the stem of a blue flower. She looks around. She opens her wings and flies in spirals. She flies higher and higher, and then flies towards Times Square.
The grasshopper chews his leaf and watches and feels lonely and hopeless when the ladybug is gone. The grasshopper looks at his reflection in a drop of water on a leaf. He thinks "I look like an alien robot" and "my head looks like an alien robot head." In October the grasshopper is killed by Destiny and chromosomes. The ladybug will not die but hibernate. The ladybug will dream slow, cold dreams.
The ladybug arrives in Times Square. She flies around and around. Vortices of air try to crush her against the sides of skyscrapers but she defeats them and flies on.
The ladybug lands on a windowsill. She watches people walking around and talking on cell phones and looking angry and buying shit. She listens to their thoughts and doesn't like them and is horrified by them, and becomes angry. The ladybug decides to use her mutant powers to solve the problem.
"They are destroying the world, and animals, and flowers and things," thinks the ladybug. "And the stupid thoughts they think hurt my head, and make me wish I wasn't psychic. I must avenge the Earth. I must do something right now. I must use my mutant powers to make an impact."
A housefly lands next to her. The housefly is dusty and old and has learned helplessness.
"I wouldn't do that," the housefly says. "You won't change anything."
"You are psychic," the ladybug says. She feels something, which is astonishment.
"Yes," the housefly says. "But it doesn't help." His huge compound eyes glisten with housefly tears.
The housefly buzzes, then dies. The wind picks him up off the windowsill and he floats away.
The ladybug doesn't know how to feel about this. She becomes angrier. She uses her awesome mind powers, which are Jedi mind powers. Buildings are smashed. People are hit on the head by falling debris but are not killed. A dog is killed. The ladybug feels sorrow but keeps using her awesome mind powers to destroy Times Square. She sees stupid billboards and destroys them. She sees stupid Today Show people talking stupid shit and rips their clothes off. They drop their microphones and put their hands over their genitals. People laugh at them. They run away screaming. The ladybug feels satisfaction.
The ladybug destroys things for one hour.
Black army helicopters arrive. The helicopters fire rubber bullets at the ladybug.
The ladybug destroys the black army helicopters.
Army people are astonished. They float gently in force field bubbles. They feel okay.
The ladybug chokes on dust. She stops destroying Times Square. She begins to wonder about things, about life and things, and death, and feels regret, and becomes thoughtful about her own mortality. She summons stationery and a fountain pen with her awesome mind powers and lands on a glass-topped breakfast table and starts to write a monograph about her experience:
"Maybe I am beginning to understand what the housefly meant," she writes, "because my heart hurts, and nothing is different, and people have not changed, and the world is difficult to understand."
The ladybug puts the pen down and sips on some dew that has formed on a leaf of a potted geranium.
"I tried to use my powers to heal the Earth but maybe that was wrong. Maybe a ladybug cannot heal the Earth and make people better or more sensitive. Somehow it was my destiny to have awesome mind powers and be a ladybug. Perhaps I should fly high into the mountains and find a monastery where wisdom is taught by blind monks who are bald and ascetic, and drink green tea in silence while contemplating the serenity of all things and the uselessness of desire. I don't know. I apologize for hurting people's feelings and property damage in Times Square. I will never apologize for what I did to the Today Show people. I would like to urge NBC to cancel the stupid Today Show, or change the format so it is filled with hopeful cartoons and public service announcements that will challenge young people to care for the Earth, and become Eco-Warriors or something, because the Earth is dying, and all the whales are starving to death, and global warming is killing the penguins."
The ladybug puts down the pen and reads the monograph she has written. She is not satisfied with it. She picks up the pen again and edits the monograph, and expands it a tiny bit with one long sentence about how young people should stop talking stupid useless shit on cell phones. She reads the monograph 3 times and is satisfied with it, and goes to the New York Public Library and e-mails it to the New York Times and the New York Post. She feels exhausted and crawls up into a potted geranium and closes the petals of red geranium flowers around her and sleeps for 6 hours.
The ladybug wakes and sees glass windows filled with light.
She flies home and takes a bath in a rivulet of cold spring water and is refreshed.
In the fall, in the brown leaf time, she hibernates. She dreams cold dreams. She wakes up in the spring, in the green leaf time, and has 300 children and lives 3 more months and then dies.
She wakes up in Heaven and is filled with love. In Heaven the leaves are green and sing sweet songs to her, and never fall, but turn gold, and then green again. She meets Jesus and loves him. She is filled with understanding for stupid people and feels new sympathy for them. She dedicates herself to writing monographs which make stupid people feel better about themselves.
She meets Louise Fitzhugh and loves her and talks to her for 100 years and is not bored.
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