At 5:46, I arose and washed up, then sat at the dining table, sipping instant coffee and devouring a frozen breakfast. Compared to the night before, there were two more selfies, four advertisements, and one public account article shared in WeChat Moments. Just like that, I saw an article about Nonexstentpapilio.
Nonexstentpapilio is a butterfly with yellow wings speckled with large black “eyes.” This butterfly was recently discovered by humans and has no corresponding Chinese name. It was born in a rainforest on the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Whether the rainforest should belong to the Dominican Republic or Haiti is still debated in the international community, so let’s leave it aside. In the rainforest, the first generation of butterflies awakens after overwintering and flies north to Mexico, where they fly to Guadalupe Island to lay eggs and then die. The second generation butterfly undergoes the egg stage, larval stage, pupa stage, and emerges, then turns west, arriving in the Hawaiian Islands in late summer to lay eggs again. The third generation butterflies migrate to Japan’s Tanegashima Island before winter arrives. The butterflies that cross the Pacific will spend the winter on a tree that generates heat. The locals call this tree “Bhikkhu Kato,” which means a tree full of butterflies. After winter, the awakened butterflies continue to fly westward to Xiangbei Mountain in Yuecheng, China.
At the end of the article, the editor wrote: “No one knows yet why Nonexstentpapilio spent several generations of butterflies crossing the entire Pacific Ocean to Yuecheng Xiangbei Mountain. There are no rare flowers or special scenery on Xiangbei Mountain. However, this matter remains. It is for scientists to study. Interested citizens are welcome to go to the Butterfly Museum to watch Nonexstentpapilio. Friendly reminder: Nonexstentpapilio has been listed as a global special protected animal. Please do not go up the mountain to capture it privately to avoid causing international disputes.”
After reading the article, I clicked on the pictures and studied them carefully. But rather than researching, I was more like emptying my brain and waiting for the upcoming interview.
After my previous company closed down, I was unable to find a new job and stayed at home for more than half a year. Two weeks ago, a company sent me an email asking if I would like to take their test questions. I sent it back after I finished it, and after waiting for three days, I got a call. A woman with a voice that was so beautiful that it seemed unreal invited me for an interview.
“My surname is Guan, I am the human resources specialist of this company. I talked to you on the phone before.” Miss Guan has short hair, a small face, her skin color and outline look a bit like a mixture of yellow and white, and her mouth is so red that it makes people’s hearts beat. Can’t look straight. It’s hard to tell by age. There’s no problem if you say you’re thirty, or you can say you’re forty.
I began to describe my past experiences, understanding of human body structure, and various experiences in using 3D software. She nodded frequently, picked up a pen to write on my resume from time to time, and occasionally named a few software and asked me if I had ever been exposed to it. It can be heard that she has no understanding of the software she is talking about. She is just playing the role she should play in the interview.
“You are quite familiar with making 3D models.”
“I’m embarrassed to say it myself, but I am indeed a professional.”
“I have no problem here, but I have to wait for the director’s decision. The director went to Japan on a business trip yesterday.”
“If there is nothing else to say, today’s interview ends here.” Ms. Guan picked up my resume and ran it over the table. The paper made a crisp sound when it collided with the board.
“I want to talk about butterflies.” I said.
“Nonexstentpapilio, a butterfly, I wonder if you have time.”
Miss Guan looked at me with an expression of surprise and uncertainty on her face. She said, “Have you heard any rumors?”
“Should I hear something?”
“Are you sure there’s no malice?”
“You can swear it,” I said.
She stared at me again, and finally said as if she had made up her mind: “Okay, you say.”
I took a deep breath and recounted what I saw on the official account that morning. She listened very carefully and even took notes in the margins of my resume.
“Isn’t it okay to leave it to the director like this?” I pointed to my resume.
“It doesn’t matter. Since you mentioned Butterfly, let me tell you a secret. The director will not look at your resume at all.”
“We send the projects out in the form of exam questions, and after recycling the models, we select the best ones and submit them to customers. In other words, the models are kept but no one wants them.”
“Why…why?” I said.
“The company’s revenue is just enough to pay the rent of the office building, so… you understand, right?” She stopped talking and stared into my eyes.
“Okay. I want to ask one last question.”
“I know what you’re going to say. Because of butterflies. I like butterflies and I’m going to the Butterfly Museum for an interview over the weekend, so I don’t want to deceive people who like butterflies.”
“I don’t want to deceive people who like butterflies.” I repeated it in my heart, stood up and said goodbye to her.
She sent me to the elevator and asked, “What are your plans for the future?”
“Keep looking for a job,” I said.
“Do you have a house?”
“There is a house, less than fifty square meters, and the loan was paid off when I lost my job.”
“Where’s the car?”
“Buick, it’s an old model from ten years ago, but it doesn’t have many kilometers.”
“What do you do for a living now?”
“Is there more?”
“How can this be easy to say?” I thought for a while, “If we save money, we can still hold on for another two or three months.”
The elevator arrived and she walked in with me. The small space was immediately filled with the smell of perfume. When the elevator landed, she spoke again: “I have an idea. If you are willing – but don’t get me wrong, I do it for the sake of the butterfly – I have an empty room in my house that I can give you to stay for free. You can give it to me for free. If you rent out your house, the rent is enough for living expenses, I think. If you are willing to clean, buy food and cook, I can also pay you a little salary, of course not a lot.”
I stopped and looked at her.
“I am divorced and have a six-year-old son. There are many things at home that need to be handled by men. A six-year-old boy also needs to get along with adult men instead of staying with women all day long.”
“Don’t you think men are dangerous?” I asked.
“You’re not that kind of person, I can tell.”
“I can tell?”
“Because of butterflies.”
Although I don’t understand what happened to the butterfly, I don’t think it’s appropriate to ask any further. Of butterflies I can say that I know nothing, except Nonexstentpapilio.
Over the weekend, I received a call from Ms. Guan.
“Liar,” she said. “The people at the museum said there were no butterflies flying from the Dominican Republic, and our agreement was void.”
She hung up the phone without giving me a chance to speak.
how could be? I opened WeChat and searched for Nonexstentpapilio, but there was indeed nothing. I still don’t understand what is going on, and my job is also unclear.