Wednesday, August 14, 2019

All flies are individuals

There is the dark side:

Lately, in our clean and well-kept apartment, we have been experiencing bizarre, sudden blooms of flies. Typing away some Thursday afternoon on my computer I will suddenly look up to see half a dozen flies sluggishly slamming themselves into our many closed windows, drunkenly lurching away, then wandering confusedly about for awhile. I get out my John Prine Flyswatter, messily kill them all, clean up their corpses and gory spilled guts, and then notice that three new flies have shown up. So I kill those too. Then there's a couple more. I murder them and that usually does it for awhile.

We have no meat full of maggots sitting around, and there is no easy rational explanation for these flies. It's all a little Amityville Horror for me.

And then, on the other hand,

There is the light side:

I am pushing a cart of non fiction down our long hall and a fly joins me, calmly bobbing down to the elevator as I go. I push the elevator button and wait. The fly rests politely on my cart. The elevator opens and the fly flies in and settles on the floor. I roll in. We regard each other calmly.

The door opens. I roll the cart out as the fly flies out as well. The fly makes a quiet loop in the air to give me time to open the staff door out to the public. I push my cart through and the fly heads off into the library. We wave peaceably to each other in farewell.

There is little in the way of rational explanation for this one as well, merely the strange sense of kinship and camaraderie. Unlike the horror films of the first, it doesn't remind me of any movies or books I can think of. Flies have yet to capture the popular imagination. However, I am just beginning to think it is not necessarily beyond them.

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