Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hibernation (...Fiction)

There is a moth trapped between the screen and the glass.
I am lying in my bed in a state of guilty indesion, wondering if I’m obligated to free the moth.
This is the problem with having no religion. Nothing tells me what is right or wrong except me. A Christian or a buddist- are they the ones who try not to step on ants?- would know immediately what to do about the moth. They would get out of bed, open the screen, coax the moth in the right direction without touching it so that the oil on their fingers didn’t take the dust off it’s wings because it needs the dust to fly, the moth would fly off and live the rest of its one week life- or are moths the insects that can live for years and hibernate in the winter like bears in caves with stomachs full of blueberries?

The window is behind my head but the streetlight outside shines past the moth and there are fluttering moth wing shadows on my wall. The moth’s shadow is looking tired.

When I was eight my mother explained to me about hibernation and since then it’s been a fantasy of mine. I wish humans were allowed to partake. I wish our bodies could store food for months so we didn’t need to ever leave to make money to buy food to eat.
For the winter months the world would just stop living and no one would collect the rent or call you for any reason because everyone was asleep under their floorboards like pot bellied vampires. Also we’d probably grow more body hair.

When I was eight my mother had a rule about jungle gyms. Once I asked her to pick me up so that I could reach the monkey bars and she said: if you’re not capable of doing it yourself than you’re not ready to do it. I always thought it was a height thing, like taller people had a shorter distance to fall.

The moth has stopped moving. It looked tired already this morning before I left for work and when I came home it was still fluttering.
Since I assume that it doesn’t really know I’m here, I don’t think it stopped fluttering all day and then began again when I returned, I cant help assuming that it was fluttering all day. It must be tired.

If it can’t get out on its own than its not ready to get out. I decide.
I wonder why this makes sense… is there something out there in the city that I am protecting the moth from by keeping it here? I wish I could remember if moths are the ones who live for weeks or years- then I could decide with more authority weather to let it go off and live dangerously for its last days, or if it should take time to pause, make plans.
Better play it safe.


  1. This made me cry. It made me want to open window all over the house. I must be a Buddhist, or a Christian.

  2. Touching and amazing, though I can't put my finger on why exactly. It is so relatable for me in my life right now, but on such a deeper level than a moth. Thank you for your words!

  3. thank you for your comments and for your understanding. =)