“They waited for the elevator. ” Most people love butterflies and hate moth,” he said. “But moths are more interesting – more engaging.”
“Some are, a lot are, but they live in all kinds of ways. Just like we do.” Silence for one floor.
“There’s a moth, more than one in fact, that lives only on tears,” he offered. “That’s all they eat or drink.”
“What kind of tears? Whose tears?”
“The tears of large land mammals, about our size.
The old definition of moth was, ‘anything that gradually, silently eats, consumes, or wages any other thing.’
It was a verb for destruction too. . . .”
― Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs
The last paragraph of my journal entry from April 4, 2003, describing how I felt when I returned from a long work trip cleaning up a toxic waste site in the swamps of southern Louisiana.
I remember how I felt when that job was over and I flew back home. I had become so used to the swamps, to the green and the water – to the alligators and the snakes – that it began to feel like it was the whole world. I gazed out the window of my plane at the hard concrete and the terminal buildings of DFW airport, the metal planes and the masses of people – a sight I’d seen a hundred times but that seemed suddenly strange and alien after being in the swamp for so long. It took me a long time to feel normal again… or at least as normal as I ever feel.
And today’s piece of flash fiction:
Attraction, by Deirdre Danklin
from Tiny Molecules
Understandable, given the nature of swamps. I still remember my feelings when I first walked into a U.S. grocery store after years of shopping for food in a Liberian market. I stood at the meat counter and said, “Everything’s covered in plastic.”