I don’t know how your tiny brain works, but if it’s anything like my giant one, then certain visual input triggers certain mental images. Since I don’t only think of shrunken men as sexual fodder, I also ask myself poignant questions: What do you do for a living? What do you eat? What fabric do you use to make your clothes, if any? -And the ever popular- What do you drive?
I took the picture on the left with my cell phone one morning, as I went out the back door to do god-knows-what to my back yard. As you surely heard if you live anywhere these critters exist, they were out in full force this year, loud as all get-out, day in, day out. They are clumsy flyers, and easy snacks for birds.
This little fella perched himself on my screen door for four days in a row before I lost sight of him, and every day I thought of a tiny man riding on its back to get himself from place to place. The mental image makes my brain feel fuzzy warm.
In other news, did you see what my cats did to the screen on my door? Crazy little maniacs. Don’t ask me why they like to stick their claws in there to climb up, maybe get stuck, then cry out for me to help them. Such turdheads.
Lately I’ve had some free time, yet I’ve made the mistake of waiting until I’m “in the right frame of mind” to write. I forgot there is no such thing. I’m a writer, or I’m not. It isn’t a matter of not knowing what to write, but of making excuses not to do so. I’ll probably invent more of those in the future, but not today. Today I’ll tell you a bit of the way I feel about little bugs. No, not you. Real ones. I tend to go to each extreme. I either kill them with livid hatred (as a recent purchase for flea medicine shows), or allow them to live as I coo and fawn.
Because of that thing that awakens inside of me when I’m in the presence of small stimuli, I do believe I’ve been spared from indifference towards the living of small worlds. It isn’t that I want to make out with mosquitoes… but watching the way a tiny critter interacts with its environment has a way of awakening memories of certain thoughts, or creating altogether new ones, always of a far more pleasant nature.
As always, that was the state of things when I found a newborn praying mantis in my bathroom. Naturally I immediately wondered what it would be like to find a man that size (approximately half an inch in height), under the same circumstances (say, while I’m in the middle of a biological imperative). My first inclination, even preceding mortification, would be a desire to protect him, but I’m afraid that would be followed with great haste by a compulsion to use him in a most intimate way.
(No, I’m not referring to toilet paper. Ew.)
As unlikely as I am to waste time pondering the impossible (this blog is proof of that, eh?), I wondered if I’d truly be capable of taking advantage of someone in such a defenseless predicament. I imagine he would feel a great deal of distress, especially if he doesn’t know why he’s suddenly 1/2″ tall, and in my bathroom! If that is his normal height, his discomfort would stem from having been spotted and skillfully captured by a woman of enormous size. Would I care?
As I tried to grab a hold of this tiny mantis, I thought that in a world where I find a man that small, I would indeed drop him somewhere fun. In another world I would want to, really badly, but would wait for consent. In yet another dimension I would first take the time to explain to him what is about to happen, and the behavior that is expected of him when he squirms his way to his destination. As though reading my mind (I don’t know why, as it had nothing to do with it), the mantis kept leaping from my hand again and again, and I asked myself, what would I feed him? Where would he sleep? How would I go about my day, insane with worry abut his well being?
It’s so annoying to have these fantasies importuned by a sense of protectiveness towards a creature so unreal it’s never in any danger. But whatever rocks my boat.
Then the praying mantis jumped again, and landed on my left breast. Rather than destroying the moment by realizing it was the closest surface onto which it could escape, I smiled and said to the little man that exists in my head, “But of course that’s the first place you rush to”
From a bag of groceries I had not yet emptied, I grabbed a block of cream cheese, tore the box free, and placed the mantis in there. I was considering keeping it as a pet when I reached a window, as I was also toying with defenestration (<–love that word). I decided on the latter but then I saw the mantis had escaped. I looked for it for quite some time, without luck. It was gone, I thought forever.
It came back to me the next day, and this time I did free it as I hoped it would live a full life. Whatever happened to it was a better fate than staying with me. I would have probably forgotten I had it, or my cats would have eaten it. “You may live” is what I whispered to it, and if there ever was a growth potion developed from the essence of emotional glimpses, what I felt when I said that would certainly be an ingredient. It’s goddess juice, and it makes me taller.
Life gives you little moments, that’s for sure. Tonight I was having dinner, and I spotted a fly zooming around the room. I’m disgusted by the idea of any bug going anywhere near what’s taken for nourishment, so I set off to kill the filthy bug. I could not find it, but afterwards I was sitting in the living room, minding my own business, when I felt something land on my chest.
I glanced down at my shirt front and I couldn’t see anything. I thought it might have been the fly, but it was nowhere to be found. Minutes later I felt something flutter inside my shirt. Now, throughout my life I have never felt strong negative reactions for little critters; in fact, I’ve always thought it was ridiculous to portray women in television or comics as unable to face small animals, or screaming banshees when they see a mouse, etc.
I knew that fly was inside my shirt, and I thought I should do something about it. Well, it couldn’t very well stay there, right?
Maybe if it had been a tiny man, the kind that measures half an inch, then I would have thought differently, but a fly?
I’m usually kind and gentle, and I think I would be a very nice giantess, and a tender owner of a small man if I were to ever face a tremendous rise in height, or gain the ability to shrink others, therefore I decided to release the fly into the wild. But wait, I thought, first let’s see…. And I looked down to see where it was. It was struggling against my left bra cup, near the seam that reaches up to the shoulder strap.
I had trapped it in place by stretching my shirt against it, and imagining it was a bug-sized little man-
Oh, my god.
Another bug flew inside my shirt just now!
As I was writing the above, a tiny ladybug-looking thing landed on my chest. 😆 There must be something in the air tonight. I don’t know why they are choosing that particular location, but this surely is unprecedented.
Anyway, so I was imagining the fly was a shrunken man, wriggling his little legs and arms, perhaps shrieking and straining his voice so I might hear his insignificant pleas… so I stared down my shirt for just a few seconds, and if I was a betting woman I’d wager there was a foolish smile plastered on my face.
I walked out the door and let it fly away. I brought in the mail and made sure it wasn’t around anymore before I opened my front door again. I went inside the house, and a few minutes later I felt a tiny flutter against my chest. I looked down and there was the fly again! It had flown off and while I was still outside it had decided to come back to me. It was love, you see.
So I killed it. I crushed it with toilet paper, and I flushed it down the toilet.
Moral of the story: Don’t love me, or I will kill you.
Well, if you are a fly.
No, that’s not it.
Moral of the story: I would be a gentle giantess, unless you try my patience. I would indeed be a kind pet owner, unless you return the gift of my lenience with arrogant presumption. Disobey me and I will crush you and flush you down the toilet.
No, that’s not it either. 🙄
There’s no moral to this story. I killed it because it was a fly.
One night a few years ago I went down the front steps of my house, a trash bag in hand, my purpose to deposit it in the large bin where it’s collected every Wednesday morning. I was wearing sandals and walking along the sidewalk, only a few feet away from the bin.
I placed the trash bag in, and replaced the lid. Taking the short trek home, I noticed the beautiful full moon, and the lovely trees in full summer greenery; then, on the sidewalk on which I walked, I spotted something leap toward me.
My right foot, which only a moment before had lifted from the ground as I took a next step, came down on the dangling heel section of my sandal, and this little creature had timed it just right to end up between my heel and my sandal’s cushy material. It was too late for me to stop my foot from coming down and crushing the little bug to death, and that is what I did.
Crickets are sticky. Having a basement as I do, I have accidentally crushed a few, and I always have to rinse the stain of buggy guts with soap and water for a few long seconds before it washes clean. This last time I was not thinking of those past crickets, or those sticky messes.
I was thinking, What if that had been a small man? What if I lived in a world where shrunken men were driven mad by the vision of passing sandaled feet, and developed super jumping powers (or a rudimentary catapult, I don’t care) in order to reach their desired pedal destination?
Or maybe it wouldn’t be some amok passion that happens at the sight of feet, but a coming-of-age trial, a test of manhood, or something as simple as a mode of transportation… the same way sand worms were used in Dune to hitch a ride from place to place. But if a shrunken man were to ever catch my toe with one of ’em hooks, trouble would be afoot. Really.
As I returned home, limping so as to avoid resting my sticky heel on my sandal, I thought of what it would be like to carefully pull off my sandal, to lift it to my eyes just to see not a bug, but a tiny smear that used to be perfectly masculine, little arms and legs, a bloody stain that used to be a thinking head… and I felt that silly sadness that permeates a child’s heart when she imagines a loved one’s funeral. Fleeting, surreal, but still there, if only for a moment. Something powerful, this imagination.
In my bathroom, as I rinsed away the cricket’s remains, I thought of all the bugs I had killed with my feet before, and imagined how the very thought is one that gives pleasure to some people in this community. I don’t share this enjoyment, but from my perspective I see how it works. There’s a transformation that takes place with the extraordinary growth, “real” or relative, of a woman, that makes her into a force of nature.
There’s something about the destruction of small things, something that must be imprinted since the very first time the creature that would become homo sapiens crushed living things on the ground callousing her feet that translates into irrelevance. Sure, from the “insignificant” perspective of a 5-6′ tall human, a colossal, 8-mile-tall woman that roams the earth with naught a care for what she kills is an insane murderer that should be stopped, terminated… but to her, things are not the same. She isn’t mad or destructive in the same manner that you aren’t mad or destructive when you walk on an ant hill as you take your dog for a walk.
If that ant hill protested in a way that I could understand, things would be different, but when I imagine myself miles and miles tall, I don’t hear these cries of horror. I only envision that he can see me coming, and take delight in thinking of all that he feels, the way he melts when he witnesses the force of my nature flatten everything but him.
It’s not always comfortable to realize I’m explaining impossibilities to myself as realities, but whatever discomfort doesn’t take away from the mental deliciousness. I don’t enjoy destruction, unless I’m in the mood for it.
Most of the time as a giantess I’m happy to live and let the little ones live. I can’t count the times my mind’s eye has looked down the streets of a crowded city, watched those tiny shapes squirm on sidewalks, carefully deposited one giant foot after the other on pavement and not flesh, winced at the feel of fragile metal crunch to the swing of a swerving toe, automobile drivers honking and shaking their infinitesimal fists in my direction as I apologize and exchange insurance information, my rates growing almost as quickly as I do.
I recognize that feeling. I felt a very similar way once when as a child, I lived in a city that was invaded by crickets one year. No, I don’t mean there were dozens of crickets in the basement. No, there were not hundreds of them. There were hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions.
They covered the streets and sidewalks and walls, they piled up so high after they hatched. My father took my siblings and I out for a car ride, the windows closed all the way up, and they still got in through the vents. It was exciting to have such tiny visitors in the car, but I felt sorry for their fate as the tires of my dad’s car made a nice paste of their bodies. The cricket invasion never took place again, but I always hoped and waited for it anyway.