Well. It’s impossible not to, really, once you’ve been accidentally dive-bombed by one.
First, a little background information. I was born blind in one eye. This has made me incredibly sensitive to any risk of damage to the good one.
Ironically, every eye injury I have ever suffered has been to the ‘good one’; and I usually don’t do things half-heartedly. So much so, that as a result of one such injury there is a high-resolution image of my good (but seriously damaged) eyeball published in an ophthalmology textbook, under the “don’t do this” section…
Fast forward to a particularly onerous shopping trip. I can usually last for an hour. This, however, was opening day for a new wing at the local
hell spa super-store, dedicated to all sorts of wonderful things you never knew you needed, and the better half was intent on checking out EVERYTHING. One by one. In the minutest of detail.
By hour two I was so zoned out, that I no longer knew, or cared, how long we’d been there, how much longer we might be there, or whether I’d ever see daylight again.
By some miracle, we end up at the checkout. Most of the goods are piled on the conveyor when, “Oh, I forgot… I’ll be right back.”
Everything is scanned through, bagged and paid for: still no sign of better half.
I lean, languorous, on the wall to wait, as the cashier rings through a couple of other shoppers. At the end of the queue, with a single item in hand, appears the missing wife. When she gets to the front, I ‘un-lean’ and head towards the till.
Out of the corner of my eye, a blue flash.
I look in the direction from which the flash came, and am intrigued by what appears to be a large moth. It’s quite unusual, and definitely not a type I recall having ever seen before. The body is two-tone; a piercing blue near the head, and brown or deep russet near the tail.
Thinking it unusual, I shrug and continue towards the till.
Oddly, the moth is heading straight towards me. I’m really not sure why it would be moving in my direction at all, there are no bright lights behind me, and I step ‘out of the way’ to ‘let it pass.’ Only, as I move to the right, it moves to the left. It’s also MUCH bigger than I am comfortable with, and it seems to be growing ever larger as it comes closer.
Then I realise. “Oh. My God. It’s heading straight for the pupil of my good eye…”
I swat at it. Hard.
At the point just before my hand connected, and way too late, fully committed, I realise, ‘This isn’t a moth!’ Moths don’t look like tiny humans, dressed in blue jerkins and brown trousers. Do they?
The look of horror on the tiny, humanoid face gave the game away completely. He appeared just as surprised, if not more so, to see me as I was to see him.
My hand connected, square and to the side of the poor little chap. Or I thought it connected. He certainly went flying off in the direction he would have done, had I connected, but, when I looked where he should have landed, he had disappeared.
“What’s wrong with you?” asked the wife, “you don’t look well.”
“I think I might have killed a fairy…” was all I could mumble.
It took longer to answer her confused, “What?” than the entire incident took to unfold, and even longer to reconcile the impossibility of the experience with the unobjectionable, and, frankly, all too real ‘truth’ of it.
Now, I hate to think that I may have actually killed a fairy. I have taken to consoling myself with the scientifically sound principle that any fairy I might stumble across would have much faster reflexes than I could hope to muster, and that he simply changed direction in order to avoid such an untimely blow; disappearing into whatever realm he had inadvertently strayed from in the process.
In any event, next time you are watching Peter Pan, as he cups the injured Tinkerbell from the forest floor and Wendy and the Lost Boys start to chant, “I do believe in fairies,” don’t be a fairy killer, shout out loud, “I do, I do!”
You know you want to.