At 5:05 a.m. on September 24, the day before he left, I snapped the above photo. I did not want to fumble with the camera settings and did not have sufficient lighting in the room to light him the way he so richly deserved. I apologized to him for the flash, the effects of which are evidenced in the red eyes that gaze adoringly out from the photo.
He buzzed around this room for at least two days before I finally decided to set him free by dramatically throwing open the sash (of the window, not of my pageant gown, you beasts) and telling him to go back to wherever he’d come from. In that respect, the scenario reminded me of every schmoe I dated in 1997.
But unlike the schmoes of 1997, I adored this fly. I liked having him around. He loved when I used outdated (I think?) slang and told him he was “fly”. In fact, he applauded quite vigorously, rubbing his two front legs together to demonstrate his appreciation. I smiled at him and his ovation in the dark.
He moved on from his front legs, and started rubbing his back legs together. He brought them forward to glide against his wings. Then he started up again with the front legs. “Yay, fly, yay!” I whispered, and quietly applauded.
Then he started showing off. He repeated the cycle, and then emphasized the back-leg movement, playing to his captive audience of one. But when he winked one of his compound eyes, I knew it was more than just an innocent dance.
I sat in the dark, mesmerized. Enthralled by his little act. Every once in a while, he would stop and just look at me. If I’d had a tiny dollar bill to give him, and if he’d had somewhere to tuck it, I would have gladly shown my appreciation that way.
But as it was, I knew I couldn’t keep him here. A fly’s life is short, and I knew he had a short life to live somewhere else. I couldn’t bear the thought of finding his tiny fly corpse on my desk. And the thought of giving him, like other insects before him, a proper burial in an old plantless pot, still filled with soil, was too much to bear.
How I miss my morning fly by night!
Do you think there is any significance to the fly’s proximity to the word “Help” on my computer screen? Could it be a purposeful reference to Vincent Price’s plea in The Fly?