Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lordette of the Flies

When I came home from my run this morning, I accidentally let in a fly.  I didn't even know I'd let it in until I felt a smallish itch on my arm, looked down, and found that the itch had a source outside of myself.  It was a fly.  I swatted at the fly immediately and automatically, so it flew off, but then flew back.  Again, I swatted at the fly, immediately and automatically, and again, it flew off, then flew back.  It kept flying back to me, like an inconvenient truth. My next act of genius was that I started speaking curses on the fly and verbally banishing it from my body and my home. I opened the door and held it open for a minute or so, in hopes that the fly would fly away.  I knew that holding the door open could bring more flies into my home, but I was willing to risk it for the sake of ending my current psychological torture.  I don't know if the fly flew out or if it just found a window at which to buzz out the rest of it's life, but at least I was left alone from that point on. 
     I have noticed a strange phenomenon since moving to this particular city exactly three and a half months ago: The native flies are attracted to me.  I do not enjoy this, nor do I approve of aggressive fly behavior. So I left my house and went to Starbucks.  This particular Starbucks contains a lot of windows, some floor to ceiling.  Which would be lovely if we were in Maui or Spain, but in the middle of a small, "nothing to see here except for the Walgreens across the street in one direction and a moving and storage shed in the other" city, it seems to me that floor to ceiling windows are only good for letting in a lot of heat, and then containing the flies that fly through the door. (Have I mentioned that it's hot here? It's hot here.)  I don't mean to make it sound like there are very many flies in Starbucks today; there are not many flies, only one or two, three at the most, I think, yet it/they keep flying at me.  There are other people only a few feet away from where I am sitting, and I have yet to see a single fly bother even a one of these people.  I have yet to see another human lift an arm in swat ready mode. Yet I keep having to swat my general air space.  Or is it possible that the flies are indeed attempting to interact with the other humans here, but instead of banishing them, the natives have adopted these flies as some type of community pets? Small consciences buzzing necessary reminders not from the inside of their individual brains, but from the outside? "Can't we all just get along?" or "Share the Road," or somesuch logic?
Was there a committee meeting about this which I missed or slept through?
I don't belong to any committees.
But here is a true disturbing thing that happened right when I got here today: I was lowering the blinds next to my chair on one of the floor to ceiling windows when all of a sudden, from where the blinds had been wound up, I unleashed not a fly, but a wasp, which fell immediately to the bottom of the window and buzzed there, apparently dazed.  Wasps are about a jazillion times worse than flies, inflicting actual terror and grief, so I ran my wimpy self up to the counter and told the barista, "There's a wasp in the window!" This young, shorter than me by several inches, tiny creature of a girl apparently old enough to be a barista, walked over to the wasp and stepped on it as she looked at me like I was pathetic. No fuss, no flinch, just a calm step that ended it's natural life. 
 As for a wasp afterlife, I can't say. 
All I can tell you is that things in this city are unnatural, to say the least.
But I like living here; I really really really do like living here.

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