Temporary memorial to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on law library steps

RBG and the Bugs

I walk to the law school library to see if the Ruth Bader Ginsburg memorial is still there. It isn’t. Only a few fresh bouquets where all the photos, notes, drawings, flowers and candles had been.

Sitting at a picnic table, I wait for something to happen—a scene of some sort. Big drops of rain begin to fall. Not many, but enough to make the ink run on the notebook’s lined page. Not enough to make me run for cover. Not yet.

A ladybug scurries around the wooden table with something stuck or poked to its side. I can’t tell if it’s an attacking insect or some bit of debris that fell from the oak tree above, impaling the ladybug. Whatever it is, I’m inclined to try to remove it, knowing my interference could make matters worse for the ladybug.

hurt ladybug

Back on the page, a minute red spider scuttles across the lines. I try to flick it away with the pen, but end up smearing it to death instead. I should have let it be.

Another red spider climbs onto the page. There seems to be no shortage of them.spiders on notebook page

Do rain drops and insects qualify as a scene? The ladybug now seems to be in its death throes. Whatever the thing on it is, it’s still there and seems to know what it’s doing. Perhaps the thing poked a venomous stringer through the ladybug’s carapace and is riding out the bug’s last minutes. The thing, a fraction of the ladybug’s size and weight, must be a bug itself. Perhaps other thingies will gather to devour the ladybug once it’s dead. Or lay their eggs inside her body.

And here, already, another sort of bug crawling across the table, then up my bottle of cold espresso.

I had come to observe people honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and instead I am caught in a nature documentary, and the bugs keep coming.

A creature, now, that looks like an orange inchworm makes its way up the side of the table. I take another swig of espresso, first making sure there’s not some winged thing floating inside the plastic bottle. There isn’t.

I was rooting for the ladybug, though that contest is lost. The drops of rain have stopped. Rest in peace, RBG.