The Dung Beetle

Once when I was four or five or six. Years of age. I was a stout little girl roaming around in umbrella cut frocks. You know frocks that swelled up like an umbrella. A dung beetle stung me a bit. On my left hand or right. I don't remember which. Memory doesn't work that way. And you know that. Just that it was either hand. Probably, my right. And it swelled up like a dung beetle itself. Blew up like a balloon, my little hand. It began to smell weird. Nasty. I didn't think I would ever get my original hand back. In my little head, I was so worried. 

But, it did get better. The swelling went down. The pain went away. I must have been happy. And as usual, relief must have overshadowed my happiness. That's the way it works for me. Mostly I am so worried and then, so equally relieved that I strangely, accidently forget to be happy.

There's this kid that lives upstairs. I meet him in the elevator sometimes. When our times match. He has got plump rosy cheeks. We don't have nothing in common. But sometimes, I go up to his floor, bid him goodnight and then come down to my floor. Translucent human attachment, this. Even if I have had a bad day or good. Even if he has had a bad day or good. He stands there, with his backpack on and a smile on his face and waves me goodbye until I vanish downwards. 

His mother left them. Both him and his father. His father, whenever I see him has wry heart ache written all over his face. As if he has lost himself. Forever and ever. And nothing would cure him. His eyes are as sunken, as his son's are bright. His son, is a miracle. 

I see him chasing butterflies in the garden downstairs. To capture them for a moment between his cupped hands and then instantly release them. Colorful butterflies, dozens, flock the magnolia trees. I hope he recognises the colors. I pray that his vision opens up. And so does his mind. Everyone tells me, he is slow. What a horrible thing to say of a child. 

I am afraid, that a dung beetle might sting his tiny little hand as well. It's three decades after. Dung beetles might as well be, extinct. For all we know. It's not even the same garden or the same flowers. But I wonder. 

1 comment:

loop said...

This just crushed my heart! What a beautiful piece of writing.