so yesterday there was a moth in my car on the A train.
it was flying around, beating its wings furiously against the windows, the lights, the ads that read FOOT PAIN? and LEARN ENGLISH.
it kept coming back to the white light of a plastic advertsing case with no ad inside. maybe it thought the light was a window. or the moon. or just the way out. the moth was throwing itself at the glowing white plastic.
some people were afraid of it. it was gorgeous, huge and shades of brown, but people were afraid of it.
the moth is interesting. complicated. it's not pretty, like a butterfly, with spring dresses and wrapping paper dedicated to it. it's a creature of the night, an often suicidal thing (moth to the flame). but it's not outright menacing, like a bee, or filthy, like a fly. the A train riders did not really know how to react, so they avoided it. and those who didn't avoid just ignored it.
i was staring at it.
you don't belong here.
you need to be rescued.
you need to get out.
but i wasn't doing anything about it.
and my inaction was depressing and frustrating me.
i'm not afraid of moths. or spiders, or bees for that matter. in fact, i grew up sort of obsessed with insects. crickets, ladybugs and june bugs were my favorites. i liked scarab beetles, and roly-poly bugs.
but i was reluctant to interfere. more than that. i was frozen.
it was trapped, trapped, trapped.
after a while it calmed down and sat on a windowsill.
i pictured myself cupping it in my hands, getting off the train, going up the stairs and releasing it into the wilds of washington heights.
could i make it? quickly enough? would it try to escape? would i harm it? their wings are so delicate and already they'd been through so much.
all i could do was stare. the train screeched into my stop, and i got off.
and now i'm sitting here at work.
trapped where i don't belong.