“My barstool friend came in all agitated and said:
“I had a horrifying dream last night that I turned into a beetle!”
“Bartender, give my buddy a drink, he needs it.”
“Thanks, I’ll have a beer.”
With our beers in front of us, I said:
“Now, how did this dream come about?”
He took a big gulp of his beer, and continued:
“Well, I’m taking this night adult class in literature and we had to read Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis.”
“Oh well, that explains it.”
“Not really, because I don’t understand the story at all.”
“Well, if I remember my literature 101, it’s an allegory, a story with a hidden meaning.”
“What’s the hidden meaning?’ He finished his beer and ordered another for both of us.
“Well, it’s the way you interpret it. It’s about the human condition.”
I looked at the two beers in front of me and drank half of one in two gulps.
“What’s the human condition?”
I thought this guy needs to take a lot of night courses.
“It’s all the crap we humans face in the world to survive.”
“Yeah, I have to face my wife’s nagging about how I don’t make enough money.”
“It’s also about “transformation.”
“Oh, you mean like the guy in the story was transformed into a bug.”
“We all need to transform ourselves positively through our lives to grow. But some people transform themselves negatively to escape situations.”
“Oh, I want to escape, that’s for sure.”
I wondered if I was getting through to him.
“The main character in the story felt the hopelessness of his life, working for survival and supporting his family. He felt that was the only thing he existed for.”
“Yeah, my wife takes me for granted. I’m just a meal ticket to her. She treats me like a dog.”
“That’s a part of the story too, the animalistic tendencies of humans, that we are basically animals.”
“ I wonder sometimes why I’m working like a dog. Is that just the way it is in life?”
“In the story the fellow became a bug and he escaped his treadmill life. Consequently his family became more animalistic towards him, they don’t take care of him and they look on him as a liability. He’s a bug now and they stop thinking about him as a human being and they stop treating him like one also.”
“Boy, that’s a real horror story.”
I smiled and downed my last beer and went to the toilet. When I came back to my stool my buddy was gone!
“Hey, bartender, where did my drinking pal go, his beer is still sitting on the bar?”
“I don’t know, he was here a minute ago.”
I got up to look around the room. Then I heard it, a cracking sound under my shoe. I looked down, I had just stepped on a bug!
I drank the rest of his beer and left the tavern.