Death of a Moth

we never really went steady.
at least not seriously.

the day i showed her my dead moth, i had asked her to be my girlfriend.
but we were only seven, and didn't know what that meant.

she had said yes, then ran home to ask her mom for both
a wedding dress and a funeral dress.

she only made use of one,
and our relationship stayed innocent and naive.

people never really saw either of us.
we were both just static in the corners of their vision.

Maudlin had a way of just blending into the scenery. and i picked it up from her.

we'd go unnoticed.
it wasn't a problem for me -- i didn't need anyone else. and i took her occasional smiles as a sign that she enjoyed her transparency. and so we would just blend in. it became almost a game.

at times, i regret that i spent so much time being invisible.
being hidden for so long, meant that i didn't have many other friends. and when i lost Maudlin, i was alone.

she used to tell me to go out and meet people. to make friends. but i couldn't, she was all that i needed. she just seemed to accept that, and would stop bothering me about it.

i never experienced the world of popularity. all of the social things which seemed to be so important, all seemed too daunting to me. i had accepted early on, my lack of social skills. trying to fit in meant unwanted pain, so i didn't try. but that hurt as well. Maudlin seemed to take the pain better than i did. but i realize now, she just took it differently.

i was blind to that,
and like all of my other shortcomings, i regret them so much.

high school was filled with so much of a need to belong, and i knew that i couldn't. there never was any niche for me to fill. i fell into problems.

i started out smoking, until the pain of my parent's punishment outweighed any imaginary status it gave me.

i quickly passed through a drinking stage. i knew that the state of drunkenness was not for me; for part of me was lost each time i got blasted. i started drinking as a way to fit in and space out, and neither proved to be desirable, so i quit.

i never tried drugs, by the time i got through the cheap and easy stuff, none of that stuff interested me. i had learned how to zone out without any outside assistance.

and whenever i had been drinking, Maudlin would refuse to see me. she told me that alcohol was poison, and that i was just killing myself. she tried to convince me that my attempts to fit-in and zone-out were just attempts at suicide. she pleaded with me, telling me it was all wrong.

and i realize now
that she didn't mean to be hypocritical.
she had meant it,
but she just couldn't follow her own advice.

she told me that she had tried a hallucinogen once. she regretted it. she never wanted to tell me about it. all she would say was that it was awful. she likened it to not only having loneliness in your life, but also having it rear up on its hind feet and chase after you, trying to swallow you whole. it gave her nightmares.

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Matte Elsbernd
copyright © 1995