Night Bugs

Due to a window left open too late, night bugs are clumsily orbiting the naked lightbulbs above me. I cup my hands around one dazed moth and throw it out the window but as far as I can tell it only tumbles to the ground. The rest I can hear relentlessly bashing against the hot globes which I haven’t turned off because I’m addicted to comforting warm brightness.

They haven’t evolved for this, for millions of years they navigated by the moon and they are yet to adjust to the relatively recent intrusion of artificial light into their world. I wonder if they will have time to accustom to our modern lightscape or if we will run out of the required resources to keep the cold, deep blue-blacks of nighttime at bay, making this but a brief and violent blip in the history of winged insects.

One green beetle is crawling across the landscape of pillows and ornamental cushions chosen by my mother in eggshell blues to match her curtains; it’s the kind of beetle that lets off an offensive odour when threatened, yet surprisingly I detect no smell. Soon the green beetle stands at the summit of one of the cushion mountains and I decide to take a photo of it with my phone’s camera. While viewing the bug on the screen, I get the vaguely disquieting sense that it is studying me as much as I am studying it but I soon decide it is only disoriented as it slowly rotates on the spot for far too long. I feel gratitude towards it for letting me document it and so I gently wrap it in some toilet paper and take it downstairs where I release it on to a flax plant and hope that it will be okay.

I go back upstairs to finish writing this and while I am doing so, a big, stunned mosquito falls onto my arm. I slap it and it bounces down onto the ground, dead. I contemplate the fact that I would make a terrible God because omnipotence only makes me feel guilty.


Posted in: Journal

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