Recently I was seated beside a window in my apartment when I heard a muffled mrrpmh from outside. The sound was so small I didn’t really pay it much attention. But then I heard it again: mrrpmh, mrrpmh, mrrpmh.

I looked up. Outside my window, a honey bee no larger than the end of my pinkie finger was running into the window. It would hit the glass, back up a foot, and then plunge straight back at the window. The bee didn’t fly into the mesh screen below the glass, nor did it fly into the brick that surrounds either side of the window. It didn’t once alter its course, and simply continued to ram itself directly into the window.

As I watched the bee I started talking to it: What are you doing, bee? Stop running into the window. Can’t you see the window’s not going to move for you?

Possibly because it couldn’t understand English, or maybe because it was a really stubborn bee, it continued to run itself into the window.

I counted 26 more mrrpmh’s before the bee finally changed course and flew over the top of the building.

Sometimes now I hear a bee run into one of my windows. Each time I think of that original bee, and I remember that we’ve all been there.