The Moth Strikes
April 24, 2009
Jason felt foul and too tired to get up when the radio alarmed so he slapped it and cursed the world he still had to wake early because when young he hadn’t done what later enables middle-age men to rise when they want. On aching feet and tender ankles he stepped to the closet, retrieving jock, gym shorts and shoes, and grunted as he put them on, then slowly stepped through the living room and pushed the switch to four lights under a ceiling fan at the far end and moved to an open carpeted area where he turned back toward the lights, a dreary quartet, and started stretching arms and shoulders and thought damn how’d that moth get in here, that dirty, frenetic critter batting bulbs and frosted-glass covers with its head and wings then flying into walls, paintings, blinds, and back into bulbs and fan blades, dominating the room as Jason had moved onto his back to stretch hamstrings but couldn’t go on with an invader in his face.
I’m gonna crush you, he raged, rushing to a bookcase to grab a magazine, of boundless pretension but rare brilliance, and began lunging at the moth and swinging the periodical. He whiffed under lights, forcing the moth to walls where he missed high and low and in corners and back by lights then to walls where he tried to sweep the moth off paintings and smash it but fanned again and kept missing as he chased the moth around the living room, seething he couldn’t hit a large and relatively slow target and deciding to get more aggressive: and swing harder he did, shattering one of the frosted-glass covers under the fan. Groaning he should’ve used a newspaper, lighter and quicker and less likely to destroy property, he vowed to later kill the moth, then rushed to get the vacuum cleaner and prudently suck up all the small shards, after he’d picked up the chunks, thinking wow there’s so much shattered glass rattling into the vacuum and, thank god, there the bastard is, dead on the carpet, being sucked into a pit he deserves. Jason turned off the vacuum and put it away, returning still stressed but less angry to a workout soon cut short when he realized he’d vacuumed a relative since the crazy moth was back battering bulbs and everything else.