Thursday, July 12, 2007

Death of a firefly

At dusk the fireflies come out, and when I first moved here to Ohio I thought they were so beautiful. I'll never forget the first one I ever saw, at the Dairy Twist with Dan. It flew right in front of us and for a second I almost thought it was just my eyeballs wigging out (like when you see the green blob after a camera flash or something). But it was just a split second and then I realized that it was a lightning bug. I'm sure Dan was surprised by my thunderstruck reaction, but it was by far the coolest thing I'd seen in Ohio.

There at the Dairy Twist, Dan told me the story of the firefly. He said that they light up because they're looking for a mate. We watched them for a while and saw them humping in the grass, and it seemed so happy that they found each other.

But tonight I saw a firefly blinking on the side of the road. It was lying on its back, all alone and fading. I can only assume that it never found its mate, and with every last ounce of its being it was hoping, hoping that another firefly would see it, and save it from dying alone. Maybe I'm silly, but I couldn't help but make up a story about that lonely firefly. It was me! The me I was before I met Dan. Obviously the picture doesn't fit anymore (thank God!). But I guess before senility sets in, I will always remember how I used to be. And it absolutely broke my heart to see that firefly quietly winking by the side of the road, and to remember.

When I walked away, I saw its light turn off.

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