It was Simon and Garfunkel again. It had been ages since the strains had scented the air. But the pain was the same. It was almost evening. The lights were going out and the mayfly was lying in a corner huffing. Its life of one day was coming to an end. It remembered how people had told it that it should not have come out. It should have stayed in the protected cocoon. But it knew it had wings and had wanted to try them out. They had said that it was not a butterfly. Why hadn’t it listened? It had wanted to atleast know what flying meant. So it flew the moment it came out of the cocoon. It flew all afternoon, glowing in the heat of the warm sun. It made love to the wind. It felt glorious. It felt that it was probably worth it despite all the pain. For a while it forgot that it had only one day. That was its mistake. Now it was lying there gulping in some last breaths of air.
She saw the dying mayfly. The last bit of the song was playing.
I am a rock
I am an island
For a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries.
She wondered why the mayfly couldn’t have been a rock or an island. Why did it have to be this little vulnerable thing with dreams of flying? The rock and the island are tied to their places, yes, but then they don’t know what it is to move so they will never miss it. But the poor mayfly, now lying there dying. Why have wings if you were to die fallen on the ground like that?
She had always been a zoology enthusiast and had an unusual liking to breeding insects to study them. In its short life the mayfly had surely laid an egg somewhere in the water tank. But looking at the dying mayfly, she wondered if she would ever let its child out of the cocoon. Maybe she should just kill it before it started to want to fly, yes she should just throw away all the water from the tank tomorrow. Maybe…. She didn’t know what to do. The song, which was on loop, started again.
A winter’s night
In a deep and dark December
I am alone….