Perched atop the cracking windows of Leonard Hall, the Asian beetle’s little mouth curls in a bashful smile. It’s four o’clock: rush hour for the Asian beetles, who are piling in the corners of the warm room, falling on top of each other in confusion. She has arrived late for the interview, leaving me hopelessly scanning the top of my dorm ceiling amongst the forty other Asian beetles for her.
“Sorry I’m late,” she begins. Her small, off-colored wings flicker slightly as she takes her spot next to me. It has been a month since the first appearance of the Asian beetles. It started with just a couple stragglers, but now it has been reported that up to fifty Asian beetles have made their way into the dorms of many Kenyon students in South Quad. The Invasion occurs every year, as common as the Krud, resulting in students having to vacuum their walls every other day and quietly cry into their pillows as they fall asleep to the noise of Asian beetles scurrying above them.
“Many students mistake you for Ladybugs, and when they find out that you aren’t, they immediately react with a sensation of disgust. How do you feel about this?” I wait for a second as the Asian beetle gathers her thoughts. The afternoon sun hits her spots just right to illuminate their dull, unimpressive orange color.
“It’s hard, you know. The kids don’t want us around because they think we don’t have the same charm as Ladybugs. So we end up here, crawling aimlessly around dorm rooms of college students, day after day watching you scarf down cheesy bread and complain about how much work you have.”
Saying this, I can tell the Asian beetle is getting frustrated. “Some days I hear the hum of the vacuum and I know what’s coming for us. I treat each day like it’s my last.” The beetle, who turns 10 days old today, doesn’t give off the aura of distress or discomfort. She leans back next to me, sighing again as she looks out at Middle Path. Among her colony, it’s not surprising that she’s been labeled as the celebrity. She spends her days crawling on the strings of Christmas lights around the room to cast her shadow against the wall for all the other beetles to recognize her beauty. She adds coyly that she’s just trying to live her life now that the stink bugs are gone, before she flies away and lands on my Post Malone poster, retreating into oblivion.