It’s December, but I see them everywhere.
I offer my hand and she crawls onto it. Her hard shell belies her delicate nature. I admire her armor, which protects her sensitive parts from the world. We are alike in that way.
As the month of December passes, I find more. One on my bedside table. Another on my bedroom windowsill. Several end up on the bed, pacing back and forth on the striped flannel sheets. I find one under my pillow as I’m positioning it for the night. It’s as if someone else placed a wish there for me. The universe, perhaps. If you believe in those sorts of things.
I believe in those sorts of things. Omens. Signs. Signs from God. Signs from the universe.
I pay attention when a bevy of ladybugs takes up residence in my house in the middle of December. And I seem to be the only one to spot them.
I know it is my animal totem. At least one of them. The one that matters at this moment.
But I don’t look it up. I don’t want to know what it means.
Good luck, I imagine. They are lucky ladybugs after all.
I don’t want to know any more.
December is my month to hibernate, to rest up for 2015. I deserve it. The nothingness. I’ve earned it. At least that’s what I tell myself.
On New Year’s Day, I look up ladybug as an animal totem. It means “wish fulfilled.” The appearance of a lady bug heralds a time of luck and protection in which wishes begin to be fulfilled.
I know that for my wishes to come true, I have to write.
I wonder why I resist so much. Sometimes it seems like the hardest thing to do in the world is to pick up a pen and scratch out a few sentences. Good sentences or bad sentences, it doesn’t matter. Starting is always hard.
Even on the first day of the new year I don’t want to write.
W shuts off the L Word reruns we are watching on Netflix. Like she is my mother and knows what’s best for me.
She says she is helping me.
I just want to watch The L Word.
I figure I could be known for that. Watching The L Word over and over and over again. It was a groundbreaking drama. Ten years ago. But still. Groundbreaking. Where’s the shame in that?
Or online Scrabble. I could just play Scrabble on my iPad on the intermediate setting. How could there be any shame in Scrabble, America’s favorite word game?
But what I really want to be known as is a writer, which means I must write.
About ladybugs or The L Word or Scrabble. It doesn’t really matter. I just need to write.
* * *
It’s a dot of white light that seems to fall from the sky. A singular blip like the electronic “ball” in the game Pong. It’s there and then it isn’t.
“Did you see that?” W asks.
It seems almost too perfect. A shooting star to start off the new year.
I freeze inside. Hold my breath. I am too afraid to ask for anything, to make a wish.
Now, I am wondering if it is too late. What’s the expiration date on a shooting star?
But maybe the wish part is optional.
Maybe it was the universe winking its eye. Saying I’ve got this, I’ve got you. No worries. 2015 is going to be epic. Just you wait and see.