Saturday, March 6, 2021

a moment a year ago today: butterfly

I head out of the office after a day of work. Step along the pavement, one foot and then the other. Forward is a scary direction these days. Dad going in for tests. That virus. No cases in Oregon yet. It will be here any day.

How many deaths, now? This morning on NPR there was a quote from Trump saying that it might actually be good for the economy, because look at the Japanese economy, and I swear he used the word Jap. I can’t remember the quote. I just remember saying aloud, twice, as I listened: “Did he just say Jap?”

A butterfly flits around me as I walk. It's so tiny, a fleck of ash from a campfire. I feel uncomfortable to go to the theater tonight but I guess we’ll go ahead and go? I thought of suggesting we not, but am I just being paranoid? Overreacting? I’ll bet the theater will be pretty empty. I don’t know.

It will be here any day. How can we really know if it's not already here?

Take another step and that butterfly shoots right under my shoe.

I see this as my heel hits the pavement. And the moment slows down. Heel on pavement, the ball of my foot suspended, stopped, the muscles in the top of my foot clenched to hold it just above the sidewalk.

My body is carried forward into the next step. My foot pulls up. In a tiny white flash, the butterfly flies away.