Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Porchlight

He's sitting on the porch with one leg dangling off. Spider webs filled with dust and dead things in the ceiling, between rafters, behind objects and implements of mysterious use. He is small, and five, and quiet, and afraid of the dark. He is rolling a piece of his shorts between his fingers and looking out into the dark. The porchlight only goes out so far, before the blue dark haze settles in turns everything into shades of dark and darker. The porchlight is covered in thick dusty strands of cobweb and dead things, with one long-dead husk of a moth hanging from the light.

The woods are loud. They are throbbing with the pulsing songs of cicada. Their chittering mutates and changes, grows and moves around in the air, a sonic life form calling to him. Out there, in the darkness, saying 'Come, come.'

His mother told him that going out into the woods is dangerous. They read some stories about bears or dragons and talked about bad things that can happen alone in the woods. They did read other adventure stories where boys and girls, alone or in groups, survived just fine but learned hard lessons in the woods. Overall, he understood. He understood that it's okay to go into the darkness so long as you don't go alone or when there's dragons or monsters.

Yet, he was not alone. Out there, in the darkness, he hears them all. What they are saying to each other doesn't matter, but what they are saying to him does. All of them, speaking with so earnest a passion for such brief lives, they do not want to be alone. They want him to sit with them, climb with them, and itch and scratch across those strings and membranes just right, just right, just so.

The porchlight hangs in silence. Alone and giving, but not strong enough for seeing that there's nothing there in the dark. It is weak enough to show there is always something in the dark.

A big brown and red moth dances up from the grass and catches his eye. He watches it as it skantles upwards fast and unpredictably, upwards towards the light, towards the porchlight. He watches it bash against the old and useless webs, bash against the hazy yellow glass, bash against invisible walls in the air. After some more bashing it falls straight down and hits the porch with a small 'tack.'. It is on its feet, its antennae are throbbing in the air, its dark eyes reflecting.

"I am you, moth," he says, cleaning off some dust from these wings.

He then takes off flying, the air thick and rich with so many flavors and dangers and doubts and desires, his mind free to imagine.

The empty porch stays lit. The light spreads thinly into the yard. But the light is not strong enough to find the boy from there.

1 comment:

Is this wise?
Is this yours?
Is this love?

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