Among Butterflies

I’ll tell you a story now. This is a story about me and it is a story about you. This is a true story of a man who turned into a butterfly when he woke up one morning.

Young man woke up with a scream. He had wings instead of arms. His legs were somehow multiplied. He started thinking until he discovered that there were two antennae over his head. What the heck was happening? How could he…? He thought he was still sleeping but no! Ok. He decided to wait. May be it would be fixed somehow. Was a couple hours enough? What if he call the police… he thought but NO he said to himself: “Who could possibly believe me?” He couldn’t go out with all these stuff. How was he supposed to go to work like this? If he made something up for today, he still needed to go to work tomorrow…

After the first shock he had some forms of thoughts in his mind. It was really disturbing feeling to become that thing… that bug with wings… although he felt before like a bug. However this was new. This was not a feeling. It was solid reality.

He couldn’t stop grumbling. What kind of a life is that anyway? Oh… how he wished someone could explain this. Could a person, become a butterfly just like that? He felt as if he was in a cartoon movie. He walked across the house all day long. He walked and walked. He got angry at times. He got sad. He protested God. He got tired at last.

Suddenly it came to him that lives of the butterflies were short. Some could live only one day in the longest. Thanks God he could remember a documentary about monarch butterflies. They lived for years. He relaxed a little but the feeling he got could be defined as sadness more than a relaxation. Was he a butterfly now? Would he live the rest of his life like this?

He slept with the hope to wake up normally. Next day came and he opened his eyes in the same buggy body. This thing was getting serious now. He should have called help. But wait… what if they wanted to make experiments on him? He didn’t want to become a lab rat. He also thought that he was in Turkey and people would not understand anyway. He got back to thinking and thing for hours again. He wanted to shout but no he kept his mouth shut. Butterflies could not talk nor shout.

A strange idea struck him suddenly. What if; it was the butterfly that became him instead of him becoming it? If that was the case he could also feel sorry for the butterfly. It was also scandalous that a butterfly could turn into a human being. He could understand if he became a caterpillar… really why butterfly? This was strange. In spite of his surprise and confusion he could actually admit that he loved butterflies a lot. He loved that their presence had a scent of freedom and elegance.

He was dreaming to become a big man. He dreamt to change the world. He never dreamt of being a butterfly. It was a complex situation. There must be a mistake he thought. Or could this be “the correction” of n other mistake? What did it taste like, to be a butterfly?

And a butterfly came to his window. He had this thought flashing in his head. If he is a butterfly from now on, butterflies be with other butterflies. He unknowingly started to flap his wings. All the things started to fly in the house. He started to feel something deep. As he flapped his wings, his thin body started to rise. YES he was flying. Butterflies are supposed to fly, you know! “Why not?” he thought. He looked out of the window. It was pretty high above the building.

He opened his wings and let himself into the wide space. He was a butterfly now.

To Demian

Written by Tayfun Topaloğlu

Translation: Ahmet Akın