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TURN INTO SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL

Cindy Maddera

Some time around one thirty Saturday morning, Josephine was at the door wanting out. I let her out and then heard a ruckus that involved some squeaking sounds. I stumbled into the living room just in time to see a flash of gray and Albus sitting cooly to the side while Josephine tried to crawl under the couch. I also noticed a thumb sized bug like thing on the rug. I went to Michael's room and said "the animals are chasing a mouse in the living room and there's a weird bug thing in there too." Then I crawled back into bed. After Josephine caught the mouse and took it outside, Michael came in with the bug like thing on the dustbin to ask me if I knew what it was. It looked like a large fat worm, but it was compact and it moved when Michael poked it with his finger. It was weird. I said "I don't know what that is, but it's creeping me out. Get it away from me."

I have to admit that this is not my normal reaction to odd biological things. Usually, I get my face right up to it and ask "What is that?!?!" and then I start doing some research. So I was pretty sad when I woke up the next morning and the sleepy cobwebs had cleared because I realized that the creepy thing was probably a pupae for a butterfly or moth. Michael had already stuck it into a baggy and tossed into the garbage bin. We threw a pretty moth of butterfly into the trash! But I blame my sleep fogged brain and the fact that I've been watching Stranger Things . It's a Netflix original show that feels like what would happen if Dean Koontz and Stephen King got together and had babies. I'm totally hooked but completely terrified while watching it. The other day, I screamed out loud while walking on the treadmill in the gym. Michael walked in while I was watching an episode yesterday and I had curled up into a ball on the couch and was rocking back and forth. 

I was going to blabber on about how much cleaning I did in between watching Stranger Things. I was going to tell you about how I pulled out every drawer of my desk once again and cleaned out mouse poop, once a again. I was going to tell you that I swept up enough cat hair to make a new cat, one that would catch the mice and take them outside. Then I thought no one wants to hear how I spent the weekend cleaning and scrubbing a house. I am always cleaning a scrubbing a house. Instead I just keep thinking about that pupae. I'm sure the cat brought that in from somewhere outside, but it's not where (or what dimension) it came from that matters. I can't stop picturing that creepy, ugly, wrinkled, brown thing and marveling at how that would turn into something beautiful. And I let Michael throw it away.

Way back when I was in my preteen years, I'd stare at my reflection in the mirror trying to see something likable about my face. My hair was a limp dirty blond dishrag. My cheeks were round and plump. My teeth were too big. My nose was too big. Yet, I believed that I would grow out of this awkward, too big, too round stage. I would look at my sister, tall and skinny, dressed like Andie Walsh and I would think to myself "I will also grow up to be tall and skinny and as stylish as Andie Walsh." I believed those preteen years to be my caterpillar stage and that my pupae stage would only be one or two years of my early teens. I would emerge on my sixteenth birthday as a beautiful confident butterfly. When that didn't happen, I assumed it would happen when I turned twenty. Maybe when I turned thirty. How about forty? At forty I would finally be that confident beautiful butterfly. 

We stood outside the recreational supply store, waiting for them to open so that Michael could buy wool socks. The kayak tour guide recommended wearing wool socks because they would keep your feet warm even if they were wet. Michael hadn't packed his because he didn't think it would actually be that cold, but after reading a warning about hypothermia he decided he needed socks. As we stood there, jabbering about nothing in particular, I caught my reflection in the window. I was wearing my silk lined yoga pants with my Threadless yoga animals tank top. I squinted at the reflection and said "huh. I don't look as bad as I thought I did." I can feel my ribs with out trying too hard and my legs are long and lean and strong. My breasts don't really need a bra to keep them pert and lifted. My smile is large and bright and my eyes have been known to take away breaths. I've known these things all along.

The truth is, I've been waiting to emerge into something I already am.