The moth and the drums

by @michaelvitaly

The drums had stopped.  A vivid bailable non-cantable that was emanating through the ceiling joists above as if through invisible speakers.  Through the soot my eye would travel erased of time and space.  Just part of the riff and the raff underground at this hour.  This now.  Traveling through the crowds and over platforms skimming third rails and sneaking pictures with my pen.  These people so varied.  This time so unique.  And down flutters this little moth I’m not sure from where, in and out of sight through eyelids blinking fast or an old 8mm film.  I follow her through the black, lost in white, in and out of dark and light.  I turn my head to see the clamor coming up the stairs losing sight of the moth.

“Saddle up, it’s part of the draw,” I sort of say with my eyes as I admired the Delsey luggage being dragged by a sternly focused brunette.  I used to have a suitcase like that but mine was black not blue.  They had come the long flight and a half up from the tunnel to the 7 and the A, C, E.  They seemed an unhappy pair, these Twentysomethings.

Faces flushed and about to burst with sweat, readying themselves, barely off the landing above the last stair, they stood stopped but swaying, with inertia no doubt, huffing and puffing. “I’ve been there,” I think but do not say  a thing (sometimes it’s nice just to not connect at all — to watch from afar).  They were now firmly settled and the girl with my luggage had gone over the bumpy yellow strip along the open tracks now, greeting danger with reverie, dancing up a storm until, “What!?” she exclaimed off the scoff of her friend throwing her hands up in the air like waving surrender, and then the drumming stopped.  As if the drumming-older-brother-upstairs got wind of the merriment being had downstairs to his cathartic concerto, and snatched the groove from under our feet.  And it was just like that, the drums had stopped and this little moth, it must’ve been a moth, fluttered rather gracefully downward below my line of vision — intersecting animalistic purity into the mix of human movement.

Fluttering from left to right in pulsing plosives while streaming forward almost bubbling, like spilled soda over a kitchen countertop, She ran smooth but popping bubbles along the way. “There she goes..” I think, “and where did she come from?”

Where is she off too?

Did the drumming rock her loose from her shroud of slumber?  Did she reside in the invisible speaker of raw acoustics along the strips of black?  Or is her home above the lights where no one really looks?  Maybe there’s a little nestled nook where she does hide, inside part of an old sweater found in the lost and found, there’s an old copy of the Economist lying around, with cigarette butts strewn beside.  The hearth of the work room pipes greeting hisses to her every day when she would return home.

Her wings, white and clear, but through a silken screen stretched thin.  There she flew before me.  Flap and stutter, glide and flutter.  Capillaries.  Concrete.  Lost in fluorescence.

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