A Moth

moth
U.S. National Archives

A moth, I was born a moth; I was born in a chrysalis, I hatched from a hard, angry-looking chrysalis, like Godzilla hatching from that industrial-looking egg, with a team of nervous Japanese scientists huddled around. Except that when I was born, there was no one around. I was born alone.

My wings were scrunched up and wet as I emerged from the chrysalis. So I flattened them out and then let them dry in the sun, and then I had wings, large beautifully patterned wings, to fly with.

Then I flew…

Flying, it is like floating on a bed of air. Being encompassed by nothing. Nothing, but the nothing is a thing. It’s wonderful, is what I’m saying. Invisible contrails, contrails behind you, but you can’t see then. Flying, the past is behind you instantly, then is gone. Nothing to worry about then. Flight; then — poof.

I flew for most of my adult life, which really, though, I became an adult at about two weeks of age, so, really, for my whole life. My whole life. I flew.

Then I saw a light.

There is a light that never goes out.

And then and there, at that moment, I knew that my passion had arrived. What had my life been up until that moment.

“Don’t go close,” the other moths said. “It’s a mistake; we’ve seen it too many times before.”

The light was by a gas station. One of those overhanging lights. So beautiful; muted orange-y halogen yellow. What had my life been up until that moment. Had I simply been wasting time?

“Don’t,” the moths said. But how could they know. How could they know that my passion had arrived. A void that I had never known before. That’s how you know when it’s right. Because you’re thinking, Oh, there was this huge fucking void inside of me, and I never realized. I never noticed up until this moment. But now I see.

And now this — this thing — can fill that void.

Go toward it. Fill yourself. Fill yourself with all the experiences you’ve never had, that you never felt that you could have; that was my feeling. The light. The desire of the moth for the flame, to quote a poet.

And so I kept going back and back to the light, that same one, the one by the gas station. It was the only one for me. Icarus was a guy who flew too close to the sun. Even being a moth, I knew this; even being a moth. “Don’t do it,” the other moths kept saying. “…We’re warning you; we’re warning you.” I got burned a couple of times, flying so close to that one light. My wings, my antennae, they got sizzled. But how can you know? How can you know when too close is too close?

And what if it wasn’t light but love? Can you get too close to that?

You want to land on that thing, the stretched-out pattern of the light bulb like the surface of the sun. The principle of the sun is that you can’t land on it, though.

There is a fire that is beyond a fire.

“Don’t do it!” all the other moths kept saying. How I hated them all. Stupid useless drones.

What if God is light, what if God is the sun, what if that’s why Icarus flew so close, because wouldn’t that make sense? Can you see anything around you that looks more like God than the sun?

And then, one night, I knew that my glory had come. The night seemed darker than most, the light by the gas station brighter than before. So yes, I ignored all the other moths, is what I’m saying, I landed directly on the light, is what I’m saying, I burned myself with light, I destroyed myself! — turning my fine moth-y body into charred ash and trembling dust.

But I did what I wanted to, and who’s to say that I wouldn’t do it again?

Although I am in another place now, a thing among things, hovering above other things; I did what I wanted to, I followed my passion — and so now, am I in a better place? I’m in a difference place, at least. A place where you’ll never be. TC mark

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