One of the two million or so moths hatching in the dirt after the first rain of the season took flight and crashed into my eye. The moth did not survive. The first thirty seconds is often the harshest time period for a moth just starting out. A week is a long lifetime for a moth. Ladybugs, too. I feel strongly, therefore, as if I am not to blame. Never was, never will be. Standing in the way it seems to me must be considered just another human prerogative. What else is there to do? That flailing motion of mine was merely reflexive. Reflexes just are. Without aggression, how would we eat? If not, fuck it. I’m not the only one who says that, either. Shit like this tends to happen more than once. Too many questions lead inexorably to wrong answers. If not, what not, and why not?
I heard, “What are you doing out there?”
I said, “Nothing.”
About a million immediate family members of the moth flew off into the sky to emulate a propulsive series of figure-eights, the most basic building block of the multiverse, because that’s what they are here to do to the best of their ability, at a cruising altitude approaching sixty feet, as if nothing untoward had occurred any more than ever, because shit happens more than once, while colliding with walls, fence posts, telephone poles, tree trunks, and two- legged inanimate objects, as well as falling prey to beautiful birds who get hungry. I kept my mouth closed because I know what can happen. Casualties were high, but at times in the past thirteen million years may have been higher. Many memories are unreliable in that regard, however. Lower, too. The many who did not make it were not mourned, missed, or commemorated.
My eye as a result of the collision filled with a gunk that screamed boring beige, unless that could be construed as a more strictly neutral ecru with some understated pizzazz, then started to sting, then itched, then felt as if it needed to close up and shut down. I did not resist. How could I? Not after screams like that.
Many more moths continued to die while I remained in the dark. Blue jays were hopping like fucking bunnies. Plump and even skinny moths provided a satisfying one bite snack. When blue jays get like that, it’s best to keep a distance and leave them alone to crow. But, the woodpeckers were having none of it. Naked attitude and aggression, sure, but in an aesthetically pleasing sort of way. No drooling like wolves at a sliver of a wet moon. Flying high helps, too. I could have been hearing Kamasi Washington as he whipped his tenor into shape on Venice Beach, with Charles Mingus slapping his bass alongside.
A moth just hatched, though not a great threat to passive-aggressive humanity, unlike the relationship in reverse, may represent more of what can happen to an unattached head idling too far out in the open where it has never been, and does not fit, like a sitting duck in vast space. Intrigue is real. Scarcity is real. Gunk is real. All kinds of fancy modern shit bombs loaded with fresh ammunition are liable to bump, jostle, maul, molest, and target such an object of temptation like a laser beam. I know I would, if I could, fly that is, which I can’t, for no better or more exciting reason than to find out what the thrills of inhaling elevated cosmic dust are all about.
Elon Musk, who apparently tries to think of everything, has opted to give up on this one, though. Not the flying, but the avoidance issues. If a whole lot of shit happens, what can you do? Pretend that it’s not there? Pose like a faux goddess in a lurid position above it all? It might be best to accept it. Losses, too. Rise after the fall. That’s what Buddha would have concluded. Otherwise, you might become twisted into a lump and turn obsessive with excessive attachments and desires. Try not to step too deeply into it, though. And duck if the opportunity allows.
As a result of my renewed conquest over the annoying choke-hold of ennui and angst around my neck, I started to walk in a westerly direction towards the Pacific Ocean. I began to feel strongly as if all I needed was some amelioration of wounds. The Pacific Ocean is a major healer of gunk in eyes clouding clear vision. It only appeared on the surface as if I was avoiding a deeper relationship with more moths. They were heading east, to live briefly among the trees in the forest, perhaps with no idea how it would turn out, which is still not my fault, again.
Then I heard, “Since you’re doing nothing, how about making dinner?”
“Now I’m doing something.”
“What about dinner?”
“I’ll think of something.”
Delicious tacos from a taqueria for dinner are never a bad idea. No challenges with sharp knives, no need for first-aid, no more of that woozy feeling.
I said, “Taqueria Vallarta.”
She said, “Taqueria Santa Cruz.”
I said, “Pollo asada.”
She said, “Al pastor.”
“What if we ask your brother?”
“He’ll eat everything.”
Elon Musk does not eat every day while thinking hard, but I do. Unlike him, I never forget to eat while intensely engaged with the ramifications of a keen insight, and not only due to the unalterable fact that I operate like a neophyte in that department. Unlike an adult moth, who once hatched has no more need to eat again, or like the Buddha as another glowing example, I tend to get hungry according to rote signals signifying my low level of consciousness, periodically in conjunction with the spawn of my loins, the teen twins, though not nearly as often, who live with me according to a schedule hatched by the corrupt and diabolical apparatchiks of the Municipal Court of Santa Cruz County every other week, including square meals.
At the Pacific Ocean, I observed pelicans who seriously wanted to eat diving deep for fish. When one scored, a whole bunch crowded around looking for an opportunity to poach. There was no shame in it. None of them felt sorrow, self-loathing, regret. None of them desired to eat with a silver spoon or wear headphones and travel to Mars. Diving deep was good enough. Angst was unthinkable. Coots and loons, too. Biting, pecking, squabbling like uncouth pets on chains, no biggie. No lurid posing above it all, either. There’s nothing more satisfying to an aging coot than tonguing an anchovy. That’s what a pecking order does for a species, brings order. Pay attention to what’s ahead. Don’t dive shallow. Avoid trees and walls while flying. Don’t get swallowed whole. Shakes your feathers and your hips. Eat ripe seeds and berries. Don’t suffer too much. Do something remedial with those cloudy eyes. Fly higher. Try harder. Compete or go hang your tail with the gulls eating trash. Flailing like a herky-jerky human don’t cut it on the big stage.