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Butterflies Are Free

The Other Side Of The Glass

After a 9am voiceover session in Burbank last Monday, I decided to get a quick swim before the sun got too high. In the parking lot by the Aquatics Center, I flipped open the trunk. Whoops! I'd forgotten my swim bag. Instead, I crossed the street with my laptop to the library to write. Out of the corner of my eye, black wings framed in yellow distracted me. There was a butterfly on the marble floor, fluttering, trying to go higher, crashing against the window, falling, then starting the climb up again, not understanding he couldn't get to the other side of the glass. How did he get in? Through a crack in the wall? Maybe he snuck in through the sliding doors downstairs with a library patron. I had just rewatched 'You've Got Mail' and thought how ridiculous Meg Ryan's butterfly scene in the subway was until this moment. It was too painful to watch him struggle. He reminded me of the times I spent trying to fix my marriage, crashing into the walls of discord and pretending I wasn't suffocating. I couldn't leave this beautiful creature bumping against the clear glass pane to die from frustration and sadness.

I was striding towards the lady at the information desk to ask if she had any receptacles when I spotted a garbage can. The plastic bag inside was empty. The library had just opened; it was perfect for a rescue. I unhooked it and approached the butterfly cautiously. I waited on the floor until he hopped into the bag. "I'm taking this butterfly downstairs" I explained to the lady as I passed her desk. I didn't want her to think I was stealing a garbage bag, of all things, from the public library. She nodded. He kept fluttering while I took him down the stairs and past the doors. I opened the bag. Nothing. It seemed my butterfly liked the safety of the plastic cocoon. I shook the bag and the butterfly turned and twirled before flying away. I put the bag back and the lady at the desk gave me a heart sign. I was glad I had released him.

The life expectancy of a butterfly is two to four weeks. I'd like to think I gave my new friend an extra couple of days to fly around. I smiled as I walked out of the park. We were both free.

He's in there 🦋

“You do not just wake up and become the butterfly. Growth is a process.” Rupi Kaur

Pilar Uribe
Pilar Uribe is an actor and voice talent, known for Yo soy Betty, la fea (1999), Wonderguy (1993) and Second Extinction (2020). Catch Pilar in video games, feature films, and tv shows + follow on Instagram and YouTube for more...


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