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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, September 03, 2003
    Brutalised by tiny lepidoptera
    "I didn't think moths existed anymore," I was told by one with whom I shared my difficulty today. By which he meant, I guess, he hadn't heard for a long time (or maybe ever) of someone suffering moth-eaten clothes.

    Well, they do exist and they have proved to be silent signifiers of the onset of autumn for me this year. When I laid down my lambswool sweater at the end of spring, it was intact. Today I donned it and at some point afterwards, looked down to discover the stomach area bulleted with holes. Recalling that a flying thing fell away from it when I'd pulled it on I realised that the sweater, and by extension I myself, had been brutalised by tiny lepidoptera.

    The horror - that this quiet slow destruction had been taking place all summer only inches away from where I slept. The shame - at walking about looking like a war escapee (or worse - looking like I used to as a student). The distress - that the area most affected was the tummy area, which since last spring has become, shall we say, somewhat taughter. Thus accentuating the moth-holes even more.

    When I got into my car later on, a moth skipped up the windscreen before my eyes. When I switched on the kitchen light tonight many of those gold-grey creatures flew to the window and shone there. "I didn't think moths existed anymore." Well, they do. They mock me. And I liked that sweater too.