No, I don’t give them names, but I can tell one from another by their shapes and patterns. And besides, there wouldn’t be much point in giving them names: they die so quickly. These people are your nameless friends, for just a little while. I come here every day, say hello to the butterflies, and talk about things with them. When the time comes, though, they just quietly go off and disappear. I’m sure it means they’ve died, but I can never find their bodies. They don’t leave any trace behind. It’s as if they’ve been absorbed by the air. They’re dainty little creatures that hardly exist at all: they come out of nowhere, search quietly for a few, limited things, and disappear into nothingness again, perhaps to some other world.
Haruki Murakami on butterflies, 1Q84