After I Killed A Mayfly Today
There was a period in my childhood in which the death of any creature
even an insect - was a traumatic event. Today I wondered
where childish notions live when they're gone, and what makes them
flee, and why they dont say bye-bye politely when they take
their leave. I wondered if they might come back if I invited them
to stay? Or are they like a love burned, one future lost forever
in a thoughtless moment?
I was working overtime at The Office sorting and organizing The
Piles. I was close to being finished, and my office was a sparklingly
organized jewel gleaming in the bright artificial light, a hopeful
example of crisp, modern, shiny efficiency battling the general
snarl and squalor of the corporate jungle.
I was surveying with complacent self-absorption a pile of brochures
from a computer mega-corporation glossy and unread - positioned
for reading should the opportunity avail itself. Purring quietly
to myself in a state of chaos-absolved self-satisfaction I saw -
marching out of this virgin collection of sexy material - a stumbling
but determined freshly molted mayfly, bright yellow and neon green.
His pretty wings werent solid they were curvy and crumply
like a fresh hair style awaiting blow-drying. He was moving at a
quick crawl. He didnt have much time a mayfly lifetime
is a single human day.
He was heading straight toward me, alien eyes and antenna fixed
and pointed on me, a disturbed punk fly with a good buzz on, full
of mayfly testosterone, pissed from the tumble of paper shuffling,
reeling with disappointment, born to mate and compete against 10,000
similarly excited mayflys, finding himself stuck in a stuffy building
with a quiet technocrat cleaning his office. His determination to
reach me seemed threatening somehow. And we cant have bugs
in software brochures, can we? I bopped him, stopping him in his
tracks. He never moved again.
Mayflys are delicate creatures. I began to remember that about
them. Shame at my thoughtless fearful reaction began to turn my
cheeks pink. Was I afraid of a mayfly? Here he is shuddering down
into lifelessness - what was he planning to do before being bopped?
Now I would never know.
Suddenly I began to question what had happened to my childhood
sense of wonder and especially my innocent respect and awe
for life. I wondered why wonder had wandered; and would wonder once
banished stay away forever, like a forbidden childhood truelove?
I am soon 42 years old. By my reckoning using Mayfly Standard
Time I am just crossing twelve noon. Half my allotted day
is gone. Here I am, stumbling determinedly forward, feeling a little
lost, tumbled, and lonely, but with my antenna raised, eyes open,
curiously finding myself facing a man. I am wondering is he a friend
or a foe? Will he take an interest in me? Help me reach my destination?
He is raising his hand. Could it be friendship? Curious, I move
straight in his direction.
After I Killed A Mayfly Today is Copyright David M. Pickens.