One of my students has a girlfriend. The girlfriend, named Maggie, is a bug. She is huge. Maybe she’s a beetle of some kind, or a cross between a bee and a beetle. She has long, thin legs, a furry back, and she’s copper-colored. He brought Maggie to school today, in a glass jar, and introduced her to me. Then, he ran his girlfriend around the place making humans scream.
Later, Maggie’s jar was decorated with a white piece of paper, on which my student had lovingly sketched Maggie’s likeness in pencil and written words like “sexy,” “Dolce & Gabana,” “Prada,” and “La-la-la-la Polly” next to her drawing. During class, he sat Maggie on his desk, picked her up occasionally, confessing his love for her to the rest of the class (a wholly appropriate thing to do while reading “Romeo & Juliet,” I’d say.) He sat next to me, and, at times while we were reading, I asked Maggie if she understood what we were talking about and if maybe she could offer a bug’s interpretation of Mercutio’s Queen Mab speech.
Of course, Maggie opted to stay silent. Probably because she was a bug, but mostly because she was dead.
My 7th grade student is dating a dead bug. Named Maggie.
“I love her,” he told me, gazing into the little glass cup he held in which she slid around now on her back, now on the side of her crispy little face. And I thought to myself, you know what? I love Maggie too. And I love the fact that you can love a dead bug, so openly and honestly and without the fear of judgement from society.
Today, Internet, I learned about love from one of my students. And a big dead bug named Maggie.