An illustration of a bearded man standing with his left profile to the viewer. A butterfly rests upon his nose while other butterflies fly around in the pink and yellow background.

Mike Brown: Sunsets and Butterflies!


It’s the Outdoorsy Issue, but I gotta be honest: I spend most of my life indoors.  Sometimes going outside is just the last thing I want to do. My apartment has central air and heating when I need it, plus my cat is super stupid and is not capable of facing the outside world. A lot of times, I’m just like my cat, Princess Ramona—the outside world is just not for me. Not to say that I don’t love my cat, because I do, tremendously. But if she had to climb a tree to get away from a stray dog or bear or something, she’d be toast. I feel the same way about myself a lot of times. I can’t climb trees these days like I used to as a kid. If a bear chases me, I’m screwed.  

Anyway, I live right downtown between two of the worst 7-Elevens in the world. Going outside to get a beer and a bag of chips and cigarettes has become like a Mad Max adventure. But since I’m still addicted to cigs and Lay’s potato chips, I have to venture outside from time to time. Maybe it’s a sign of Salt Lake becoming a real grown-up city, like I referred to in my last column that didn’t get printed in the issue. Or maybe it’s just really sad.

But there are happy outdoorsy things that you can enjoy with downtown life! And my favorite would be sunsets. And butterflies. But fuck, there’s nothing like a good sunset.  Just sitting outside wherever and seeing the sky put on a show just for me. Red and pink colors reflecting though the clouds, majestically shifting as the temperature drops to a comfortable, cozy level. I’ll light up another heater and just sit and look up at the sky and think about nothing. There’s such a peacefulness in thinking about nothing sometimes. Especially these days, with all the crazy shit going on.

After thinking about absolutely nothing, I think about boobs. Then I look back at the red and pink vibrant sky, and return to thinking about nothing. The nothingness is so peaceful, boobs are awesome but can be way distracting. I’ve honestly had some near-death car crashes over the years and there’s a strange peacefulness about the nothingness of life, when death is staring you straight in the face. And then you get to just sit and enjoy a sunset—there’s nothing better to me. Remembering that the little things in life still matter. Even if it’s appreciating a blade of grass, a guy picking up his dog’s poop—just the little things. They mean a lot, especially now.

But seeing a butterfly? Get the fuck out of here! Nothing gets better than that. I’ll even take a moth on a bad day, but when you see one of those little majestic, fluttering angels come by you? You can’t argue that anything in your life is bad at that moment.  They just prance around in the air with no care. It’s like they were put on this planet just to make us happy when we are sad.  

I also like other bugs, too. Praying mantises are badass. Except for the part where the lady mantises eat the heads of the dude mantises after they fuck. Other than that, they are way cool. And so are katydids. You know, those bugs that look like leaves and you can grab them and play with them for a bit? Man, now that I’m writing about this, I realize I really like bugs!  

Now I just want to be in a pile of butterflies and bugs in a soft meadow underneath a pink and violet sunset at dusk. If we were in the Midwest and had fireflies, I’d probably lose my shit. It may be the perfect time to take some psychedelics, but that’s illegal so I will not advocate for that. Either way: Enjoy the outdoors, enjoy the little things. The little things are important. The end.

Read more from Mike Brown:
Mike Brown: Air Guitar!
Mike Brown: My First Legal Beer!