Saturday, October 01, 2022

Opinion: Shirtless on the street

Editor | September 21, 2022 7:40 AM

So the other day I was walking home from work admiring a bee that was busy pollinating a little chunk of knapweed that had grown up from a crack in the concrete.

People making a living hating knapweed, but it sure does a good job growing in what has been a hot and dry August and September.

The fact that the bee had found the lone flower was even more impressive. Bees, it turns out, don’t stop and ask a plant if it’s native or not. They just get busy, right?

At any rate, I was all smug about the resiliency of nature when I felt something on the back of my neck and then the something stung me when I swatted it.

A bee, of course.

At first I thought it had flown away, but then I had this strange feeling that something was crawling on my side inside my shirt and sure enough, there was something crawling inside my shirt.

The bee.

It stung me again.

And then I could definitely feel it crawling on my side and I started to squirm like a worm because I had two shirts on — a button down shirt and a T-shirt. It’s the sort of outfit my old man all but begged me to wear when I was kid, but never would. But then the old man died of a heart attack playing basketball and I somehow got smarter, learning that such a sartorial setup is actually cooler, rather than hotter, on a hot day. But I can’t tell him he was right because, well, he’s shooting free throws up in the sky. (Don’t feel bad for me, we weren’t close.)

But I digress.

So yeah, this sartorial setup of two shirts is great, unless … unless you have bee walking up and down your side.

So I unbuttoned the collared shirt as quickly and carefully as I could because the bee was still crawling around in there but at least he wasn’t stinging me and then I took off my T-shirt and of course cars were going by and people were waving and I was squirming around taking my shirts off, trying to act normalish.

When I got the T-shirt off I gave it a shake and the bee buzzed off up through the neck hole into the sky.

I stood there shirtless on the street and watched it rise up onto the heavens.

For the bee there was knapweed to be found. A life left to live.

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