Fireflies and mexican wrestling masks

My first post in a long time – fall semester was quite busy. I meant to post this in October and just never did. Please read it as if it were written back then:

While a lot of things have happened, two relatively insignificant events are probably two of the most interesting – to me, anyway.

1. I saw fireflies for the first time.

When I say I saw them for the first time,  I don’t know how literal I’m being. I’ve probably seen them before, given that I’ve been at Princeton for two years, including during times when it’s been hotter than it’s been since I’ve been back this year.

What I mean is that if I did see them before, I never realized what they were. It sounds ridiculous, and I’m someone who prides herself on observing the world very closely as an artist, etc. Maybe I didn’t notice them before because I didn’t realize that fireflies flash – I thought they emitted a constant glow – and I didn’t realize they were so bright and neon when they were “on”… Anyway, somehow, if I did see them, I didn’t realize they were fireflies. Maybe I thought I was just “seeing things” and dismissed them as those random flashes of light that everyone just sees from time to time. (I’m not crazy, right?)

All I know is that when I did see them, it made my week. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to linger outside while it was still warm enough for fireflies, nor did I particularly want to be fed upon by the other insects that also like to come out at warm dusks. I last saw them just before a thunderstorm a few weeks ago. Even though it was completely black out by that point, and I’d noticed that generally they tended to disperse after dusk, that night, they were still flashing over any clumps of grass they could find, as if heralding the storm… it’s easy to get poetic about fireflies, which is one reason why I love them.

Another reason I love them is that if I managed to overlook them for so long, then maybe there are more “things in heaven and earth” that I’ve been overlooking. As someone who always hoped she would stumble into another world like the Narnia kids did, suddenly discovering fireflies almost give me the hope that there’s still the chance – though if everyone else had always seen them, then maybe I’m just oblivious. But it’s true that the people who pointed them out to me are the ones who had grown up with them, and, to take nostalgic sentimentality along another line, I wonder how many of us would see fireflies if we hadn’t grown up knowing to look for them.

It would be fun to have a firefly party. Cocktails by bug-light. Except you would end up with a room full of dead bugs. Maybe they could be displayed in jars, rather than loose. Or maybe there could be a party game to catch them all again.

2. I wore a Mexican wrestling mask to lawnparties. Lawnparties are a grand old Princeton tradition where everyone dresses up as preppily as possible and parades around the eating clubs, listening to rather bland live bands and drinking. Boys in pastel polo shirts and loud plaid shorts, girls in summer dresses and large sunglasses. It is an exercise in testing the boundaries between irony and pure, genuine enjoyment of Princetonian privilege. “Oh my gosh, you look gorgeous! I love your dress! How are you?” Masks are on. The mask metaphor is a cliche, but it’s a fun one to exploit when one’s good friend happens to have given one a Mexican wrestling mask over the summer.

monster me

I’m happy to say that I turned a few heads.

Coming up: More overdue thoughts and my recent adventures in Oxford!

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2 Comments on “Fireflies and mexican wrestling masks”

  1. jeansworld Says:

    haha hilarious

  2. topkat Says:

    hi, I love you, please come back, this is my last comma splice


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