Before we begin I wish to set a few rules.
Rule 1: No making up words.
Rule 2: No getting carried away with metaphors.
Rule 3: No clichés.
Rule 4: No redundant tautologies.
Preface: Most people believe that moths are attracted to light in the same way a pubescent boy is attracted to Nigella Lawson. This is not true. Moths rely on the light of the moon for navigation, as soon as anything brighter than the moon gets in the way, they’re lost. They do not bat themselves against window panes due to some petty attraction, they are blind, rudderless and don’t know what else to do. If the artificial light is switched off, they simply move on as if nothing ever happened. Now that this overarching metaphor has been established, we can proceed.
It’s always the same. The flashing pulse of a house party draws the moth in like a moth to the flame.
When the moth arrives he feels ready. Ready to do it all over again. Then he goes inside and it all comes flooding back. He realises all at once that while he is indeed animalistic in nature he remains uncomfortable acting in an atavistic manner. Let’s check back.
The room is not large and so the fifty odd animals crammed inside appear to move as one. The music pulses a beat and the animals move with it. A beating organ, one might say. One might go further and claim that this congregation of beasts both male and female has transformed the inanimate house into a sentient creature, with alcoholic blood flowing through its veins and hot, sweaty breaths puffing out it’s frontdoor-mouth into the winterous night. But one mustn’t get carried away.
The floor mourns the loss of shoes as they are lifted with a sticky yank from the linoleum. Come back, the floor cries, stay a while, yet the shoes move on just as we should.
No one pays the moth any mind as he floats above the crowd. A female whirls to his left, spilling half the contents of her drink, but she doesn’t notice and in fact neither does the moth. A male with no hair on his head and lots on his chin yells into the moth’s face “THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME!” The moth disagrees with a smile but otherwise ignores the ferocity of the fleshy mass that bubbles around him. His eye has been caught, you see, by a light, a light so bright it has blinded him, a light so unusual, so feverish, that is likely to burn his wings right off, causing him to plummet below to a sticky, finicky death.
The light is emanating from a human female, the most female human the moth has ever seen. Every other creature in the belly of the beast (remember I said the house itself was alive? Keep up) fades to whites and blacks, becoming mere outlines, silhouettes. Only She remains, She with the wavey blonde hair and rosey cheeks. She with the bright red lipstick, perfectly shaped eyebrows and a beauty spot on her left-
The moth turns away from the framed poster of Marilyn Monroe, bemoaning the relentless passage of time and his inability to travel along it.
Eventually he comes to a table covered in all manner of hard and soft drink. He lands on the edge of cup and bottle and flask and straw and can and sticks his proboscis in and partakes of it all, and before the next two slight variations of the same pulsing beat have come to an end, he is well and truly inebriated.
The moth does not go unnoticed for long. A male and a female approach him approximately five variations later. They’re laughing and bump into him as they begin to connect themselves by the mouth. The moth flutters, looking anywhere but at their interlocking tongues and writhing lips. The male beast unhooks himself.
“Oh hey mate, sorry, didn’t see you there hey! I don’t think we’ve met, I’m Paul and this is Sophie, are you a friend of Charlie’s?”
The moth points his proboscis toward the centre of the wriggling, vibrating heap of humans, where a tall one is surrounded by people shouting his name and laughing.
“Ah ok cool, so what, you know Charlie from uni?”
The moth nods, too quickly.
Paul’s smile joins the sweat on his chin and falls to that really very sticky floor I’ve mentioned a couple of times now. The female giggles and drags him away, but Paul keeps staring at the moth. Staring with eyes that knew his secret.
It was time to leave.
The moth sidles (a very difficult thing to do for a winged creature) his way toward the front door. Before the house could expel him out its frontdoor-mouth like some dusty-winged vomitus, the mammal named Paul claws him out of the air.
“Thought you could crash my party did ya? You can’t know Charlie from uni, CHARLIE WAS NEVER SMART ENOUGH FOR UNI! You know what we do to gatecrashers round here, huh, you great mothy bastard!?”
The music stops and the entire party turn as. Even Marilyn seems to watch with baited breath.
The female mammal named Sophie drops her newest lip-friend to offer her considered opinion.
“Knock him out Paulie! Rip his dusty wings off and wear his moth-dust as war paint! That’ll warn them gatecrashers!”
Sophie begins to cackle like a hyena with two legs instead of the usual four. Paulie and the others join in, until they all fall to the floor laughing.
Outside, having long-since escaped the clutches of Paul, the moth bobs from streetlight to streetlight, listening as the laughter fades and the music is turned back on and the party continues as if nothing ever happened.