The first Nite Owl runs an autorepair shop. The first Silk Spectre is dying in a California rest resort. Dollar Bill got his cape stuck in a revolving door where he got gunned down. Silhouette… murdered. Mothman is in an asylum in Maine.rorschach’s journal
It’s after nine in the evening and pizza has just been delivered. Apparently, this was a big part of the university lifestyle that I never got to lead. Three years up in Nottingham and pizza delivery only occurred to me once or twice. Here in Oxford, it happened after every essay was completed.
But they wrote more essays than I did, so.
This is the last communal pizza they will share in this flat. I’m an extra piece – an additional complication that they hadn’t factored in. To whit, although I’m sharing in the pizza, I’m trying to prove myself useful by getting a moth out of the window. The moth is winning this epic struggle.
“How much longer are you staying here, anyway?” I ask as I attempt an arabesque in order to find the moth behind a cupboard. She flies away and I inujre my leg.
“We have to stay for a certain amount of time,” says E, “or we don’t graduate. Very few of us actually do that time, but we have to stay for…”
At which point the girl who nobody likes walks in. She exchanges a sour look with E, the Seamstress and the moth. I may as well not exist at this point.
There is a very long pause. Without a word, she crosses the floor, exits into her room and closes the door.
Everyone breathes out. I attempt to cup the moth in my hands; she escapes and I only succeed in slamming my hand against the wall.
“What was all that about?”
“We don’t know what to do with her,” says the Seamstress darkly. “It’s been long enough and I’ve no idea exactly how to repay her for…”
I don’t exactly know what they need to repay her for. It remains unsaid. I notice the moth hovering around a light; I try to vault over a pouffe to get some leverage, but I trip over it and fall. I continue the conversation as if I’m styling it out.
“I’m not a fan of the concept of revenge,” I say, finally taking a bit of pizza. “But there are things you can do to make her feel a little uncomfortable.”
“Play music,” suggested E, “really loud. Something she doesn’t like.”
“Maybe just leave the moth in here,” said the Seamstress, “seeing as how ILB can’t get her out.”
“Go into your rooms,” I said, “and pretend to have really loud sex. and she’ll get jealous.”
They both laugh at this, although there’s something in the laughter which shows they’re aware that we have, in fact, spent quite a large chunk of the day doing just that. To save my blushes, I hop across the room to open a large window on which the moth is now resting. I even try to coax her out. She’s having none of my bullshit.
The evening is filled quite pleasantly with pizza, graduation discussion and free-flowing conversation. This, clearly, was the university experience I missed out on; I may have done some interesting things in my time, but here I feel much more comfortable.
E eventually says she has to go to bed, but we all know she’s just wanting to leave us alone. With an empty pizza box discarded on the side table, we stand there in silence, looking at each other, for a few very heavy seconds.
The moth flies in between us at one point.
We retreat into her room. Clothes end up on the floor. A condom wrapper joins them soon enough.
The rest of the night is full of kisses and orgasms.
But I’m aware, at the back of my mind, that we are never truly alone.
THE MOTH IS ALWAYS WATCHING.