Home > Ladybird (writing, 2009)
On a Northern Line, between Tufnell Park and Archway, a ladybird landed on my thigh. He walked up my leg and onto my hand. Onto my index finger, he stopped and apologetically smiled, "I know... this is like that bit in You've Got Mail with the butterfly on the New York subway, right?"
"I was just thinking the same thing, but, y'know, you're a ladybird so you're special." I said.
"I'm American, so I call myself a ladybug."
"Oh right, where you from?"
"Where abouts is that? Anywhere near Philadelphia?"
"Yeh, kinda. Not too far north of Philly."
"So what are you doing in London?"
"I got trapped in this dude's laptop bag at the airport; ended up at Heathrow. I like it here, there's some foxy lady ladybugs around."
"Can I ask you a question?"
"Is there any significance to the number of black dots on your back?"
"Not really; they'll kinda like what you'd call freckles. That guy next to you is totally invading your personal space resting his ankle on his knee like that, huh?"
"Yeh, he is. I'm not a fan of his shoes either."
"Totally, dude, I hate those Vans shoes that look like big baked potatoes on the end of peoples' feet."
"Absolutely! That's funny."
"You know what I've noticed? So many people say that these days: 'that's funny' or 'that's hilarious.' When did people start saying that instead of actually laughing?"
"Well, y'know, sometimes things can be funny, but laughing would feel a little forced."
"I guess your right... So what's in the bag?"
"I bought a couple of baseball caps."
"Oh yeh? what are they like? I like the one you've got on, it's got a nice logo."
"Thanks, this one's a Montreal Expos cap; they don't exist any more, they moved to Washington."
"State or D.C.?"
"Beautiful city, awesome museums."
"So I hear, never been."
"And the new caps?"
"One of them is a Colorado Rockies cap. I've got two of their caps already. One's all black, another is black with a purple bill, and this new one is all purple."
"Wow, are they your favourite team?"
"Well, no, I'm that foreign cliche: a Yankee fan. But I have a soft spot for the Rockies, they're kinda my National League team. And the other cap is a bit silly, it's got a hot dog and two donuts on it, arranged like a face."
"That. Sounds. Magnificent!"
"It is, aye."
"Anyway dude, there's a woman down there with some interesting yellow high heels, and she's showing a bit of cleavage, so I'm gonna go check her out."
"Fair play. Nice to meet you."
"Alright man, take care. See ya."
The ladybird flew off and landed on the woman's Evening Standard. I looked up and saw the man sat opposite me was looking at me like I was mental.