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The Utility of Moths

by Jason Nemrow last modified 2018-09-16 08:46

First off, can I say that my mother is essentially a good person and I am essentially not. She possesses more of the "godly" attributes than I do and that is to her credit. In no way is this made more painfully obvious than the last few days as my inferior ways ran afoul of her superior ways and I felt the need to part ways in a flush of heated incompatibility (basically, I had a disrespectful yelling match with Mom and I stormed off). I simply can no longer be her helper and I am very grateful as my older brother takes the reins of being a better son than I have managed to be over the years. I am surrounded by those of a higher and more acceptable nature and God be praised for arranging it thus.

Have you ever considered the moth? Everybody loves butterflies of course, but what do you think of their less-loved backstreet cousins? There are kindly people that stick up for every hard luck case and moths probably fit in the "hard luck case" category. It is hard to fathom what purpose moths could possibly serve, especially in the company of something far more beautiful, graceful, and, frankly, lovable. My short research on moths came up with sweet sentiments that puff up their usefulness with the poor material available, which includes mostly serving as food for more worthy species and haphazardly pollinating alongside flies and other pests. I can relate to the moth as we have some things in common.

I flit about and it isn't a pretty thing. I have a reputation for not staying at any situation for more than two years, which I am getting dangerously close to reaching yet again. I either have to move or change jobs or do something essentially different. I try to make such changes productive, such as getting a higher income or finding better living conditions or cranking out a book or two, but I have something of a mixed record on progression. I think I share that with the somewhat pesky moth.

I am also terribly impatient. I can simulate being patient by simply going away and wandering back later, like when I visit potential priesthood holders and then return some years later and ask again if they are ready for priestly duties.  (I am a pretty good moth.) My visits can't be construed as regular at all and I am not perceived as pushy as a result , which can be described as "patient" by the same sort of people that find virtue in moths. I see it as "a lack of diligence" but it has the virtue of not driving people away through overzealous-ness, of which I don't recall having ever been accused.

This impatience is what got me into such trouble with Mom. In most situations, if I am to be helpful at all, you have to give me something do rather quickly and leave me to my own devices to get it done.  My mother does not operate that way - she is a person of intricate and often lengthy planning and exacting execution that requires her constant supervision. In a simple term, Mom is a micro-manager, which is not a bad thing in many situations. My life has been replete with episodes where I had to simply "switch off" and blithely do as instructed like a dumb robot.

I thought I could simply "switch off" in this case as I had in the past, but I couldn't do it this time.  Despite my moth-ly manner, I have had more experience in vehicle and home maintenance and transactions than Mom has (thanks to my damnable "life-churn") and I could not dumbly help her execute what my experience told me were poor decisions that would adversely affect the entire family.  She had carefully crafted a plan and documents that were already failing us (her method of avoiding expensive medevacs to distant hospitals didn't work just days ago) and would soon cost us all dearly in retaining a house and a car that were immediately purposeless.  My mother retains enough money to paper over some of the consequences of this, but I am long-since weary of time-consuming re-explanations of her elaborate machinations and an expectation of my being a programmed automaton in the plan.  In a statement, I just cannot bring myself to fill that role anymore.

I am happy to dispose of Mom's house, its contents, and her car in Tucumcari with as little muss, fuss, and expense to the group as I can contrive and in accordance with Mom's reputation for generosity. If allowed, however, I will execute both transactions in a manner of my choosing and Mom will receive all the proceeds.  She can then choose to give the money to whomever she pleases in the incredibly thoughtful and selfless way for which she is deservedly known, less whatever expenses her recent misfortunes incurred.  If I have not irredeemably destroyed trust and my power of attorney to do this for Mom through my impatient mothiness, I would be happy to render this service in my own way. If that is not acceptable, I will keep a respectful distance so the moth that I am will not attract predators and the rest of you will be saved my maverick involvement. If a dishonorable son's selfish labor can be of help, I offer such.

I thank all of you for your continuing tolerance of my presence in the family. I reiterate my faulty devotion and near-sickening "puppy-dog" adoration of Lisa that leaves little of my extremely limited store of goodness for anyone else. In a reoccurring example of this, I also cannot look on Shayna and her descriptions of what I see as her self-mutilations, so I keep every kind of distance from her.  I am quite a small and intolerant person who masks it less and less over time. I trust to your forgiving natures if it takes me some time to gather my scarce civility and interface with you again. Please stay in touch with the far-finer and more pleasant Lisa and our children, all of whom deserve your constant consoling.


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