I hate butterflies. Hate. Them. They make my skin crawl. I'm unable to control my gag reflex. I have nightmares. Of their wings. And legs. And they fly. And they touch me. And they tangle in the front grill of your vehicle when you're speeding down the highway. Oh. My. God. Gross.
And I'm not kidding.
I'm not sure where my fear of butterflies - apparently called Lepidopterophobia - stems from. Probably the same place June bugs, Carrot Top and Satan reside. Nevertheless, they give me the willies. Right now, I have the willies. Apparently, I'm not alone.
Don't tell me they're beautiful. Don't attempt to persuade me into believing they're peaceful creatures. Have you seen their cousin, the Moth? Sweet Mary and Joseph. Not any better. Butterflies are disturbing. Do you know that before a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly it liquifies? Liquifies. Seriously. Who does that? And then they grow wings. Those thin, terrifying wings. Look. I'm gagging already. I hate it. And butterflies land on you. Land. On me. They just flap around like absent-minded terrorists, and land directly on you. And all those little legs, they grasp. Help. The antennaes. Whimper.
This makes me want to throw up. All over. And I know it's irrational. But it's a lost cause.
I went to the zoo once. It was September of 2003. A calm, happy day. Just me, my family, significant others. And then they made me do it. The butterfly exhibit. Why, Mom? Why, Dad? Do you know there were hundreds of butterflies in there? No, thousands. OK, there were like eight million butterflies in one space. I squealed. I flinched. They landed on me. I shuddered, shook. I was laughed at. Actual laughing. Others oooh'd and aaah'd. Small children giggled as brooding beasts flapped their wings of terror upon their small heads. I wanted to yell. "Run, children! Go!" But no one listened. It was me vs. Butterfly Lovers Everywhere.
I never recovered. I know they're out to get me. I moved the summer of 2004. A whole year after the terrible incident. I thought I'd moved on. And then he did it. My landlord. After I signed a year of my life away to a new apartment, he handed me the key. A designer key. Decorated with butterflies.
I don't live there anymore.