before i left the house, i saw the male monarch flapping grotesquely on my kitchen floor, it's wings horribly disfigured, shriveled and useless. it was alive but would soon starve to death since it couldn't fly. i decided to take it outside and put it on some flowers, a kind of a hospice for it to spend its final moments of life. when i came back home, the butterfly was nowhere to be found. i figured maybe through some miracle its wings had healed and it flew away, or maybe an animal had eaten it, deriving some nutritional value from the butterfly, its short life having not been lived in vain. later during the day though i did see it, in the dirt, still barely alive, a glaring reminder that i killed a butterfly through my negligence, that i killed something so beautiful, and that i would surely be damned to some sort of hell for this, like killing a unicorn or destroying a rainbow. maybe its ghost would haunt me, my life forever shadowed by this lepidopteran apparition, cold nights punctuated by glimpses of pale wings flapping silently in the dark. there must also be a curse attached to killing a butterfly. 7 years of bad luck for breaking a mirror, maybe 7 more for killing a monarch.
my last remaining butterfly chrysalis still hadn't hatched yet, its shell now completely transparent, revealing the curled up shape of the butterfly inside. i made sure to keep an eye on it the whole day because i didn't want to miss it when it came out. it took me by complete surprise when a few hours later, during a brief period when i didn't have my eyes fixed on the chrysalis, a butterfly emerged, hanging upside from its chrysalis, its wings inflated and slowly hardening. i took it out of the car and gently transfered it to underside of some solomon's seal out in the backyard. there it'd stay throughout the rest of the day, and into the night (i went out at midnight with a flashlight, it was still there). it rained a little bit, but it was well protected underneath the canopy of leaves. it's probably still sticking around because of the rain and the cold weather. some dawn sunshine might dry it out for good, so i probably won't be able to see it fly away tomorrow morning, when it'll flap its wings one last time before taking south for the winter in its long migration. i think this one is a female, which is good if it survives, because they're the ones who lay the eggs come next year when it flies back up north.
andrew stopped by briefly to pick up his mails. we chatted briefly, he was excited about my reese news and thought it was cool how i was meeting all these former bhs people last week. my father had brought over some senjianbao and spring rolls for dinner, which i ate with a balsamic vinegar dipping sauce. i showed my father the butterfly outside, and we also saw a yellow warbler hiding in the bushes, keeping dry from the rain. renata showed up soon afterwards, bringing with her her "acting all weird" laptop, which i'd help fix. first order of business was organizing her slowly expanding digital photo collection. one difference between renata and me is that she has no qualms about erasing bad photos, but i think even bad photos represent a snapshot in time that can't be duplicated ever again and must be kept all cost. next, i taught renata how to burn cd's. third, we ran norton antivirus and discovered a single infestation of the welchia worm (which she had told me she got, but i was just verifying), which we promptly deleted. during that time, geoff aimed me briefly, and we also installed adobe acrobat reader, the faster cablemodem connection at my place facilitating a quicker installation (although it took me forever to figure out how to use the LAN instead of the dialup for internet access). renata, feeling hungry, went into the kitchen and ate some senjianbao and spring rolls. it was getting late, approaching 11:30pm, which once again surprised me as renata isn't a practicing night person (although she really is one, she just doesn't know it), and from all my past experience dealing with her, she usually falls asleep right after 10pm. since she had to wake up early tomorrow (like 7am early), she went home, but not before making plans to meet later in the week for some fun that doesn't involve fire.