For the love of an insect

If I turned into an insect would you still love me?

If people called me an insect and insisted I was an insect would you believe them and think of me as a repulsive creature too? Or would you still love the ‘me’ I used to be?

And if, after a period of time of having lots of people branding me an insect, I really did begin to display insect-like features – would you still be there for me? Care for me? Protect me? What if those features could never go away? What if I transformed fully into an odious creature overnight?

What if my being an insect was so repulsive to everyone that it made it difficult for those important to you to accept your love for me. What if they mocked you, jeered at you, struck you on the back? Would you still love me? Would you still be there for me?

What if you felt I had betrayed you in becoming an insect? What if you felt, deep in your heart, that I should have told you what was going to happen? Even if I couldn’t – even if I woke up one morning and discovered someone had been spreading rumours and said I was one and gradually I took on the appearance of a grotesque bug as a result against my own will. Would you hold on to what you thought you knew of me? What you thought I was – long ago – would it be enough to make you love me despite the complete absence of the reality now?

Or would you crush me? Hurl things at me? Throw me out of your house with a scream? Would you be terrified of me? Would you call for help until someone came and got rid of me? Would you lock me in a room where I could starve in the dark and gradually just disappear? Would you join the others mocking and jeering at me? Would you hate me? Despise me? Want to kill me?

Would I even love you in the same way? Would I turn against you? Or would I love you in a different way – an insect way perhaps? Would I retreat to my room and hide under the couch until I faded away – eaten by other insects – and could no longer embarrass you with my dirty, repulsive insectness? What if I left you so you could breathe in fresh air and be you again, free of me? Would you recognise that as my love for you or would my feelings for you be as alien as I had myself become?

If I turned into an insect would you still love me?

ย The above musings were inspired by thinking about Franz Kafka’s story ‘The Metamorphosis’. I am beginning to believe there is more wisdom about life as it really is in his surrealism than we normally give him credit for. Certainly, I am currently drawing comfort from his way of thinking.

About D K Powell

British freelance journalist, author, writer, editor, musician, educational consultant. I lived with Wifey, Thing I (daughter) & Thing II (son) in Bangladesh for 5-6 years working for an NGO called LAMB. Wifey led the Hospital Rehab department and I used to teach O levels at the school before going full-time as a freelance writer in 2013. Now we're back in the UK learning how to be British again. When not writing or editing, I'm busy trying to complete a Masters degree in Intercultural relations in Asian Contexts and reading way too many books at once. I also drink tea - lots of it.
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22 Responses to For the love of an insect

  1. Pingback: NaNoWriMo 2014 – The End | kenthinksaloud

  2. christawojo says:

    Eventually, I believe we all become repulsive insects at one time or another in our lives; whether by being transformed by vices, or becoming old and sickly. Much of it is our own opinion of ourselves. And it depends on our family, like Kakfa’s good sister, to decide whether they can tolerate us or not.

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    • That’s an interesting point and possibly very true. My question remains though: what to do when society decides you are that repulsive insect? That’s a question very much on my mind currently…

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      • christawojo says:

        I hope you’re question was not provoked because you’re feeling like a repulsive insect.

        Society can be quite brutal, especially when the humans mob up. My recommendation is to crawl, like Gregor, under a piece of furniture somewhere. Wait till it’s dark and quiet and make all your movements then.

        All repulsive insects are granted amnesty in my house. I never could bring myself to crush or poison bugs; even before I read Metamorphosis. Only problem is I fear I’m becoming grossly outnumbered!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m afraid it is. Society isn’t quite there yet but certain persons are. I’m doing my best to crawl, as you say, under the furniture but that’s not always possible. I will, however, bear in mind that should society finally deem me a repulsive insect, that I’ll find a safe haven in your house!๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. Simple………I’d still love you๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Norah says:

    You scared me there Ken. For a moment I actually thought you did something terrible and your family kicked you out!

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  5. Ken, I’m not in a position to know what might have evoked this, but it’s beautiful and beautifully written. Hope you are well and all settled.
    Happy weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Depends on the insect. If you’re a roach, I don’t fancy your chances. In the guise of a ladybird, however…

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  7. depends on what kind of insect – not a flea, mosquito or fly i hope.

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    • Well if those are the insects you find most repulsive then, yes, I’m afraid it is any of those three. That, I think, was the point of Kafka’s original story. The man didn’t turn into a nice furry, lovable bunny…

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  8. Ruby Tuesday says:

    I did immediately think of Kafka.

    This, to me, is something of an enormous departure in your writing, so different than what you usually put out there, and I think it’s absolutely inspired. Which is not to say I don’t very much enjoy your writing (the stuff I have come to identify as being more “you”), because I do. But it’s always wonderful to find a completely new and different world in someone whom you know.

    Hope all is well.

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    • Thank you Ruby (I think :P) – yes not my usual stuff (though not unknown of me – I’ve written things like this before – just not in a while) but then things aren’t what they normally are. I’m glad you find it wonderful to read this from me. I wish it could have been borne of more happier circumstances.

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