Butterflies & Lima Beans by Adam Kluger

“Yeah, so this is not such a big deal…,” thought  Brad Whiskerton, “who really cares if Campbell’s Vegetarian Vegetable soup in a can (obviously) decided to do away with lima beans in their soup? (according to the back-label’s list of ingredients).

You usually only got one– possibly two lima beans in the can anyway.

Brad liked their flavor and texture. They were a nice wild card in an otherwise perfectly designed soup. A great childhood lunch go-to, along with tuna fish on Saltines or Ritz crackers.

Brad looked at this first paragraph and thought, “Wow- lima bean is spelled just like Lima, the capitol of Peru, exporter of sugar, steel and many other products. Yet,  both Lima the place and lima the bean are pronounced differently.

Lime-ah bean and Lee-ma, Peru.

Brad’s father had helped construct a 3D map of Peru for a Middle School assignment that came complete with flashing lights that would indicate each key city and export. Dad had always loved helping us on school projects Brad smiled and then he noticed a beautiful music passage and thought I’ve got 8 minutes to go meet that person. Plenty of time (although not really).

Brad also thought, wow this is pretty strong weed. I best take it slow tonight.

Two art openings. A blind date.


Spring had arrived in NYC and fancy apartment buildings on the Upper East Side proudly displayed fragrant  hydrangeas on their front desks and throughout their subtly lit foyers.

Brad felt hopeful, fearful and much happier that he had decided to get the old wall fan out of storage until the A/C kicked on at the end of May.

Weird, how Brad’s apartment building, old school in decor and rules, refused to put on the A/C before June 1st.

Given global warming and the rising temperatures nationwide and on Planet Wookadookadoo…one might think the landlord would amend the rules and provide A/C when it was 90 degrees outside and inside the apartment building.

“We need to provide heat to tenants –by law– until June 1st was always the pat response by the landlord office folks.

Wasn’t worth complaining about.

The location of the apartment was right across the street from Central Park. How could you complain about anything? Lack of A/C, lack of money, love-life, or immediate prospects for a steady job. Complaining about all this was akin to whining about a missing the lima bean in Campbell’s Vegetarian Vegetable soup in a can.

Planet Wookadookadoo? wHY DID i WRITE THAT THOUGHT bRAD whiskerton? oh yeeeeahhh..great weed!

See there was stuff to celebrate too, like a change in attitudes nation-wide about weed.

“Do you still get stoned like your short story characters?”

Why did she ask that?

Was she anti-pot? Like the ex? Could I be that unlucky? She also doesn’t drink, is a Vegan presumably, has a strong aesthetic and is very neat.

How could this ever work?

Also, based on her current photos on the dating site, she had gotten even more beautiful since college where he had completely ignored her because a good friend was totally in love with her. “Bros before Ho’s,” or whatever one calls that.

Now, they were texting and he could feel the desperation building to be funnier, smarter, better, more handsome, more kind, wiser, more successful.

Why did it matter that she like him?

Was it because she was so different?


She was a level up. Not just because she looked like a Russian Contessa.

Not just because she had won some serious industry hardware for her work over the years

Not just because she seemed so stone-cold serious.

Maybe it was the arch of her eyebrows. Not quite Buddha-esque. More Sphinx-like.

Was she more aware? More Intelligent?

She seemed to be.

There was something there.

Something intense that lit something inside of Brad that felt like butterflies in his stomach.

Spring had arrived and had brought Brad butterflies.

Who needs lima beans when you’ve got butterflies?


Adam Kluger

Banner Image: courtesy of the author

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