The Solitude of a Ladybug

Published in The Massachusetts Review, Volume 63, Issue 3 @2022

Artwork by Franco Matticchio, Internazionale 1243 @2018

The first thing I do every morning is stand on my kitchen
cabinets, turn off the overnight photosynthesis lamp, drag the
thick black plastic curtains aside and attach them to the cabinets with
binder clips, then water my spinach and sweet basil and tomato plants.
To survive and grow, the plants need these acts of mine, although they
didn’t choose to be here on top of my kitchen cabinets. One day I
realized that I’d rather grow things than be a loner, so I went to a large
store that sells almost everything, bought flowerpots and soil and seeds
and gardening gloves to grow a little garden in front of the kitchen
window. Now I’m attached to my plants like I’ve never been before.
I don’t stay out at night, don’t go on trips; I go to sleep early every
night and wake up early in the morning to push up the plastic curtains
and let the plants enjoy as much natural light as possible. And more
importantly, I’m not alone anymore. I’ve got a ladybug.

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