The Moth

1.

Lounging across the length of my double bed, feet resting on my newly installed pine bookshelves. I rest the phone between shoulder and ear and examine my nails as I absentmindedly pull the spine of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle out from it’s line with my toe and then push it back in again. We have graduated from written to spoken word; merging these two worlds slowly. I climb the dusty dirt roads of your voice further and further down the line with the hope of reaching you finally, pavement stained and trembling. To reach you, at all.

“Are you still there?”

“I’m here.”

I close my eyes against the light and focus on your words. You are only the second man to have ever read to me and there is a safety here in the rise and fall of your voice; the pause for breath; the occasional swallow. A moth beats its wings helplessly against the window pane drawn to my cocoon. I am swollen with happiness and want to let it in.

2.

It’s like waking from a dream. I feel uneasy and off-balance all day. How can I feel betrayed when there is nothing to betray? But, there is. He let the world in, I think. Our private little utopia unprepared and exposed to the elements. The discovery of my own soft underbelly. I am vulnerable, after all.

“Miss? Your Latte?”

I take it and walk out into the rain, door jingling behind me. I realize half way home and only after the cup is nearing empty that I hadn’t actually ordered a Latte.

3.

I thought I was tougher than this but you are several layers deep, underneath my skin. I want to avoid you but I can’t ignore the buzzing in my ear. There is a whisper of wings against my neck; a gray shape in the corner of my eye.

“Goddamn moth,” I mutter.

I swat it away but it nimbly dodges my heavy hand. I follow it with my eyes and clap! clap! clap! Miss it again. I feel like hurting something and the moth won’t die so: I log in.

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9 thoughts on “The Moth”

  1. You’re so good at making everything bittersweet.

    I already know you’re strong, but I want to be better for you: kinder, stronger myself. That sounds patronizing. Hopefully you know what I mean.

    Best description of my voice, ever, by the way. Made me smile.

    1. You know I didn’t even think of myself that way until you said it, but I think it is absolutely true. I like to find the joy and the sorrow in everything. I don’t think you can truly have one without the other. They compliment each other.

      I want to find out more about this “asshole” Eric I have heard so much about.
      To be more “yourself” for me? A high compliment but I am prone to accepting people just as they are.

      I thought you might like that. I could have written something like “Seriously, folks, best voice EVER” but I figured that might be a bit much. You are supposed to be anonymous, after all. Oops.

        1. *begins to raise his hand… and then quickly lets it fall, realising he’s merely an intruder in a beautifully-sculpted fantasy world*

  2. My wife and I courted over email, then over IM before progressing to the telephone, only because she found my number accidentally. I remember those days of traveling the roads of her dusty voice (more squeaky, actually) with heartfelt and heartsick fondness.

    1. Well, it turned out worthwhile for you obviously. I’ve never been one to find themselves in anything but a tangible, physical relationship. I have always dismissed the idea of anything long-distance as an impossibility. I am testing my boundaries here, every day. How did you navigate the heartsickness?

  3. My boyfriend and I began talking over emails and I remember the first time I ever heard his voice; I had missed a call and heard him through voicemail. I played his message over and over before I got the nerve to call him back.
    I really like your writing style.

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