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Blog Entry: Fireflies Can't Live in Glass Jars: Part Three
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Fireflies Can't Live in Glass Jars: Part Three The Lightning Bug
Virginia is a picture in blue spiders silk and a smile. A blur of light in the corner, the color of lemon flesh, and her mother throws it out because it distracts from her beautiful girl. It is just that one time that the lightning bug is caught on camera. The other pictures are perfect, skin shining like the chrome coating behind the glass, lips curved upwards in a practiced smile. This one has a yellow smudge, and it smells like summer. Like tiny droplets of sweat and itchy dress seams and sore toes. Like a lightning bug caught in a spiderweb.
I was, that night, but I wasn’t with her, and outside I saw the little fiery bugs come out for the first time to greet the new June. She would have been beautiful, with the lightning bugs around her. I wonder if she stretched an arm out to catch one, like I would. Like I did. Like I stretched out a hand to catch her.
Before she is a picture in blue, she is a friend of a friend, and then she is just a friend one day. She is a little lightning bug on the floor of my living room, sitting there with eyes on her toes. She tells me that I am crazy. She calls me strange. She says I am a weirdo. And it is not meant to offend, because she knows I agree. We will laugh and talk and we may sing, and my parents will yell at us to shut up. And who knows how it happened. But we are in sleeping bags on a dark hardwood floor, and I am kissing her. She is taken aback, and I think she is surprised, and I pull away, lips warm and wet and she won’t look my way. She is a lightning bug. But she doesn’t know it yet. Adorned in pale blue, she is a picture on the floor: hair falling everywhere, and eyes closed, T-shirt thin and sticking to her skin. We all feel the June heat.
Sometimes I see her, but never when the sun shines. She goes to private school; a mysterious location where there are no guys, school lunch tastes good, and we aren’t all going to get cancer from the asbestos dust. She sees me sometimes, a bridge between schools allowed in cases of theatre and GSA events only.
Mostly I see her when it gets warm, summer. She comes with the lightning bugs. We’ll spend a whole weekend together and then go months alone, because we are sometimes-friends. We are always glowing and going. We are always ‘Haven’t seen-ing.’ We are always leaving, and saying hello and goodbye. We are sometimes, but we are always.
You cannot keep a lightning bug alive in a glass jar.
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posted by Kateri on Friday 27 April 2012 at 4:09AM
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