I once thought that a thousand fireflies flew into my room and crept beneath my eyelids. It was violent, visceral, and I swore I closed the window - how could they have come through the door?
I convinced myself it was to show me something, as if lanterns at a mid-autumn festival, a flashlight in a tunnel, obscured, so I hid below my sheets and waited for something to happen.
You see, the beauty of seeing in the dark is that precise sense of obscurity. My mom used to whisper me hymns in between my shivers because I was scared of what it all meant; I couldn’t understand her words because the dialect is slowly silenced in me but it was precisely that noise that guided me through the stillness of it all. Fireflies in my eyes, vowels in my ear. Fingertips on my shoulder, tip tap tip tap. As if headlights on that freeway through the tunnel to wherever we called home. Those plastic medicine spoons still taste like syrup.
If home is where the heart is, where sleeps the head? It’s dizzy, I think, like the clouds when the typhoon’s stirring, rain pouring any second now. Duck below your hood, pack an umbrella, for it can be incessant. Where even do the bugs go when it rains? I hope they’re okay. I hated their buzzing. Part of me thinks flies are ugly and I wonder if they feel the same, if they even feel at all.
Buzz Lightyear used to say “infinity and beyond!” as if that was supposed to mean something to me. What was the meaning of all that? I still wonder. Was he talking about the stars? (I can barely see them in Manhattan) Was he speaking metaphorically? Who was he talking to? Was he showing off? I used to envy people like that.
I wanted to know what was beyond infinity - drift my head out there just to get a raincheck. Because what is out there, I wonder. Whose infinity is bigger than mine right now?
I learned in BC Calculus some things have limits and some have ones that don’t exist, so now I wonder where mine lies on that spectrum: somewhere between 0 and 1, one could say, is an infinity in of itself. But I’m apprehensive, so I roll my eyes and pretend all of these grays are the same even if everyone else feels kind of black and white, as if on film, but never no sound.
I once told Evan that none of these things matter because the things that don’t exist do and it’s possible the things that do exist don’t, so why get so bogged down? It’s not like this matters. It’s the feelings that count - - - and they’re fucking fleeting… like a slow eclipse, half life dopamine drip… limit approaches whenever that circuit switches up again.
And I used to keep count! Clock my hours into a timesheet as if someone was keeping track. As if there were patterns in me, rinse and repeat like all those routines. Soggy soggy serotonin, dampening every membrane between my body and my psyche, cycling. But that’s why I liked movies, cinema, as they say. Because I could roll back the tape and rewind and forget the plot and see something new every single time. Burn a hole in my memory and brush it up back again. Color a picture worth a thousand words and post it with a caption. Because this means so much to me and I mean… hmm… something! To whoever is out there - - can you hear me?
So yeah, it bugged me that the fireflies flew into my eyes. It bugged me that they were never frozen, but I hated those necklaces and lollipops with bugs in them from that store in East Village. Fucking inhumane I’d say. But who cares if I’m too scared to lick the back of a beetle, I have fireflies in my eyes! And if I didn’t have these holes in my wings I’d fly to infinity and beyond, but no one would meet me there, I’m scared.
But no fear, how could I be scared of the dark with these fireflies in my eyes all the damn time.