My body trembled with delight. When you are hungry even a mouth of sand fills our habitual motions. Why had I been so stubborn to the moth? It had chased me. Why did I not relinquish my reservations earlier? In a feeding frenzy motivated by the fear of dying I tried to clasp as many as I could. Like black ashen flower petals the moth remains, lay scattered on the surface of the water. Before I savoured the moment, the sweet taste in my mouth turned bitter. I felt the turn of an infection like the taste exposed milk. The itch on the back of neck could not be soothed with water, for it was salty and only aggravated the rash.
My skin began to bleed. The scent of blood was in the air. At once I felt foolish. The red ink wrote my story in the water. My reflection was distorted and coloured in this aching meniscus.
I felt a target; vulnerable. Screaming in pain under the surface of the water as if my body wanted to launch flares for help.
“It was just a moth in the moonlight. “ I thought to myself .”And now I am poisoned. I wish I never looked into those eyes!”
It felt so ridiculous that such a small thing would warrant so much of my attention; so much of my energy. My fingers couldn’t stop the bleeding. They created it in the first place, by grabbing what was not mine and crumpling and tearing the delicacy in a moment of curios desperation. I thought the moth would fill my stomach with sustenance, but it was as nutritious as grit in my teeth. I wish I could grind my fingers with my gritty teeth. How I longed for the arms of strength to rest my head and be upheld by a stronger frame. But the water was like quicksand jello , so unsupportive.
Everything hurt. “That moth was to blame.” I continued in my mental monologue, “It knew what it was doing all along. It had eyes that could see”.
That night was long and memorable yet short and repressed.
”I did not even eat a moth. What evidence is there to show except for a little blood and a few broken wings?” I tried to argue.
Yet my body turned against itself, the conflict no longer external but deep within. I wanted to dive deep, to find a familiar friend or at least to hide the blatantly obvious. The dawn was coming and my shame would be on parade.
“Run!, run like a legless man in quicksand! Run, you cannot remain here!” The thoughts beat my mind into a corner and like a snake they bit the sensitive bits.
I dived deep; it was black, and I was more afraid. I wasn’t necessarily afraid of the dark but of what could lurk in the dark. I couldn’t breathe and I knew I couldn’t linger in the in the shadow of death. So I pushed the weight of the water and willed myself back to the surface. The familiarity made me sick to my gall. But at least I felt safe.