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Caterpillars (and Butterflies)

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Josh stares at the page, blinking gritty eyes, and the letters start to blend into a caterpillar of confusion.

…if he needed any more evidence that he’s overtired, that would be it.

Metis tells him that he does too much—tries to do too much, is more like it, since he’s reached the point at which the hacky sacks he’s juggling have become too numerous and started to drop.

…still a resounding No on the metaphors, then.

That’s Metis, too—Metis can snatch a word right out of the air, unfold it, unpack it, rebuild it, and set it back in flight like some kind of butterfly, twice as pretty as it was before. Metis can make poetry out of silence—and Josh isn’t so great at analyzing the stuff, but he can hear when it’s good.

It’s funny—Josh picks up the Bat Signal coffee mug that holds his pencils and then puts it down again—it’s funny how people worm their way into your life, changing moments and creating associations everywhere they go, spreading like a sickness, claiming bits and pieces almost at random, altering your memories one at a time. It’s funny how much Metis owns without asking, owns by being who he is, by speaking, by smiling when a stupid TV commercial comes on. It’s funny how you share your life with people like Metis whether you like it or not.

Josh rubs his eyes, then the rest of his face; might as well procrastinate thoroughly. He’s sunk—like a stone, like a ship, like a kite with too much of a tail.

…maybe that was a little better. Probably not.

His phone vibrates, dancing across the desk, and Josh shamelessly pounces on the reprieve.

It’s a text. It’s Metis. It reads do your homework. Josh’s emo-loser-geek-weirdo-poet boyfriend also happens to have ESP.

It figures—Metis tells him that he does too much, and then Metis tells him to do more. Metis tells him to expect more, of himself, of his life, of the universe at large. Metis tells him to believe in things, to hope recklessly, to dream with both eyes open.

its too hard, Josh texts back.

He spends a moment contemplating the Batman mug, and then the phone buzzes again with a reply:

i hold high standards for arrogant jock boyfriends. get back to work. i have a cookie for you.

Josh does what Metis tells him.