Tonight I had a conversation about sex and love with another female. This female does not normally reside in my group of girlfriends. She didn’t talk about her kids or her job, or about the impending shoe sale at Saks. In fact, she didn’t really talk about anything. She just looked at me in total perplexity, cocking her triangular green head back and forth as I blabbed on and on about the perplexities of life and love…
No, I wasn’t talking to a slave girl inhabitant of the planet Orion. I was talking to a Praying Mantis.
For the last week, I’ve had a Praying Mantis take residence on my back patio door. She hides behind the screen, right next to the porch light, in a perfect little nestling place for a predator hunting down bugs to devour. It’s like Thanksgiving, without the carbs.
She sits there, perched in effortless grace, while feasting on countless victims who innocently cross her path. She’s beautiful, svelte, ruthless, and insidious. I love her.
So I decided to talk to her tonight. She seems interested. Her glassy eyes entranced on my face. I know this because when I move, her head moves with me. It’s as if she’s sizing me up, wondering if she could take me. Then she realizes that although we may not share mammary glands, we are both females in our particular species. And she suddenly unites with me in a weird, Star Trek-ish communion. I sense this, and so I proceed…
“Listen, we need to talk…” I say, refusing to look directly at her because that would imply to my psyche that I am, in fact, talking to an insect. And that would be weird. So I look slightly to the left, but continue.
“I think you and I have a lot in common….”
She cocks her cuneate head as if she’s intently listening.
“You meet a mate. A worthy mate, nonetheless, and then you bite off his head at the most intense point of your enchanting communion, am I correct?”
She cocks her head to the opposing side.
“Well, I think that is unhealthy. I mean, I speak from experience, I’m just like you. Well, all except for the malicious cannibalism….you see, I take the heart instead of the head, which in essence, is kinda worse.”
The Mantis slowly moves her head upright, as if to look me directly in the eye.
“I know it sounds crazy,” I explain to the bug, “but at least ripping off someone’s head is quick and painless. Ripping out their heart is ferocious and barbaric.”
In some bizarre, unspoken way, I swear the Mantis lowers her head. It’s almost as if she’s sympathizing with me.
“Well I’ve decided that I’m done with all that,” I emphatically proclaim.
“I’m done with the games and all of the doubts. I’m done with the fear and restriction. I am no longer going to put up walls and play like I’m some sort of heartless hot shit. I’m giving up my machiavellian tendencies and I’ve decided to let LOVE in for once in this God forsaken life! I can no longer control it, I can’t harness it, I can’t avoid it, and that’s what makes it great. I’m changing my ways, Miss Mantis, and I’m starting right now.”
Her willowy green figure moves slightly to the right, but her triangular face still holds eye contact with me. She is staring me down, almost in an effort to convey her approval in my newfound femininity. Of course she cannot speak to me, but she doesn’t need to. I can sense it in her intuitive glare.
“I really do admire your tough-as-nails chutzpah. I can totally relate! Toughness and resilience are most admirable. HOWEVER, as I sit here lionizing your brazen independence, I can’t help but notice the fact that you are always ALONE. Every day I see you, perched in solitude. Sure, you eat other bugs to survive, I get it. But you also rip the head off of any male who gives you an orgasm. You might end up with some little Mantis babies, and that is surely satisfying as I can relate being a single mom and all…..BUT, when Mantis Junior leaves your nest, then what? You ate the head of every man who ever loved you…”
She rears back a bit, then finally relaxes downward. She looks at me intently, this time in full concentration mode. I almost feel a weird, insightful connection with this tiny green beast. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, she is holding a little black spider. I didn’t even see it coming. The spider only struggles for a minute before it’s put out of it’s misery by this vicious green creature. Using her dexterous forearms, she manhandles the spider, and stuffs part of the fat black body into her pointy mouth. The spider instantly becomes limp and debilitated. The Mantis looks up at me for a split second before she proceeds to feast on her prey. I witness her devouring the corpse, like it’s some sort of insect “zebra” and she is the lioness…except a zebra would be black and white and not red and black. Then that’s when it suddenly hits me….red and black! My sweet little skinny Praying Mantis is eating a Black fucking Widow!
It’s bad enough to devour a male of your own kind at the moment of orgasm, hell, one could even attribute it to some sort of sadistic sexual fantasy…..but hunting down another female predator with her own arachnid issues takes one seriously conniving bitch.
Praying Mantis, you’re my hero, but I think I’m going to enjoy being human for awhile. Thank you for helping me tonight. Love doesn’t sound so bad after all.