Tag Archives: bug

Springtime

I still feel guilty for murdering my little friend so many years ago. The sadness pops up periodically out of nowhere, and I have to push it back down to keep from crying.

It was finally Spring in Stuyvesant Town—the yellow daffodils had finally started to poke their way out of the soil, the pink buds on the bushes outside of my building were about to bloom, and the grass was turning from Winter brown to a beautiful deep green. I began to dream of long, lazy school free days where I could indulge in one of my favorite pastimes, digging in the dirt, burying ants and other bugs, and watching them burrow their way out, only to be buried again. Maybe I was a little sadist but it was weirdly fun.

One day, I discovered a large bug, and not being squeamish the way I am now, began to play with it. He crawled up and down one hand then the other and I was delighted. I put it in a little jar and kept him and fed him worms. One rainy spring April day, my friend Janet and I could not play outside, so we decided to play in the main hallway where I lived. I brought out my little friend and allowed him to crawl up and down my hands, when suddenly my mother was standing beside me with a look of disgust on her face. She said, “What are you doing with that big bug, that’s terrible. You shouldn’t be playing with it.” At this point, I considered this creature a pet of sorts and could not understand why my mom did not like him. She went back into the apartment and suddenly I decided to extinguish the life out of this little innocent thing. I placed this poor little guy on the floor and proceeded to smash the life out of him—the crack of his hard shell sounded calliopean to me, although I’m sure nobody else heard it. Then I discarded him as if he was nothing at all, when he was, after all, my little buddy. The feeling of remorse and guilt immediately flooded my little girl mind and I just kept thinking, “Why did you have to do that. You could have just let him go.” I tried to continue on with my day, as if what I had just done was meaningless; as if I had just killed a nameless roach, not my friend, but I couldn’t keep from thinking of myself as a murderer.

All these years later, when I relive that moment I am inexplicably brought to tears. I don’t understand it, but I know that sometimes friends come in all different packages, and I know he is in bug heaven and he forgives me.

Christmas

When I was a child, December was a magical time of the year. Although I am a Jew, I still felt the magic of the Christmas season, due to my two good friends being Catholic. I guess I just lived vicariously through them. Yes, we have Chanukah, with the Menorah and presents but as a child, it was just not the same as that Christmas tree. I remember helping Janet decorate the tree, and buying presents for my Christian friends. Also, growing up in Manhattan, where the stores are all lit up, and there is actual snow, you really get into the spirit. When I got older, I married two Christian men (one at a time) and had a Christmas tree for my children. I hosted Christmas parties, even inviting my parents, who long ago accepted my “closet” Christianness. Now that I live in Augusta, and although my friend’s family has adopted me for the holidays, I still find I have lost that “Christmas” spirit I had years ago. But, I have recently begun to attend a real down to earth Church, where I can dress in jeans and the music is rock. Somehow it gives me a sense of peace and comfort—something I almost never achieve—and lets me embrace my “inner Christian.” Although Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, I believe that it is also a state of mind that transcends religious affiliations and is about Hope and Love. I think I am becoming re-infected with the Christmas bug—an infection that I hope I don’t ever get over.