Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Fly Who Loved Me

It's hard to believe God loves you when you're a fly. I mean, what is my purpose on this planet anyway? My job - literally - is shit. Not exactly something you want to brag about to the cool fireflies and lovable ladybugs of the world. I'm just not exactly sure what valuable service it is I'm rendering here. Yeah, I know we're good food for frogs and spiders and such, but isn't there a way I can be useful and stay alive?

Worst of all, knowing my own ugliness drives me to seek out beauty like water in a desert. That's a tough thing when one is relegated to garbage bins, road kill and all the other places the fine humans avoid. It's a helluva trap: the only way to please the humans is by staying away. And yet, I'm drawn to them as much as seeking air when under water. Like I said, with a fate like this, so very, very hard to believe one is one of God's favored creatures.

Knowing this, I hope you will understand my weakness in my infamous Mashed Potatoes Moment. Trust me, I understand your possible condemnation of me. I understand what I did was deplorable, inexcusable and indefensible. I grant you all these things. It's not hard to realize how a species feels about you when they name a device just for your killing. But I hope you can understand that even if it's only for a few seconds, one hopes and prays and needs to avoid the plight of a pest.

Ever hear of a lady bug swatter??

I know you hate us, dear humans, so know that it takes a lot of gall to be the fly that visits your outdoor picnics. I myself have yelled at my fellow flies, chastising them for antagonizing the beautiful humans, ruining our reputation are these rascals who incite holy human wrath. I wanted to believe I was above such behavior, that I was one of the good flies, hopefully making amends for my unwanted presence on this globe. But alas, I too could not resist the picnic's siren call.

Please note I held out resisting my feelings for as long as I could. But it feels so good to do wrong and so empty to do right! Maybe I could have died a good fly had I not seen the Special One. She was part of a massive picnic, eating her chicken and corn in a fancy backyard soiree warmed by a gentle afternoon sun. She was all dreams and flowers and incense and peppermints. Everything a fly is not. No longer could I spend another day with the rotting fruit on the loading docks after spying this vision!

Madness seized my mind, possessing me and caressing me, putting me on clouds where I did not belong. Zipping through the air, the wind rushing past my ears drowned out the voices of reason, that neither a bird nor a bee I be. All I saw was the Special One - someone to wait a lifetime for - and a chance to savor the good life under the sweet suburban sky. And that's exactly how I of all flies ended up landing squarely on top of the Special One's mashed potatoes.

I expected shrieks of horror and dismay, a swatting or a killing, death by infamy's disdain. But none of that happened! To high heaven I beamed, a favored creature of God after all! Take that, insect kingdom! Even the loveliest of butterflies would envy me now! Who is it that may cross to the other side of Eden, tasting paradise lost? How to explain when myth is reality and one sees beyond the end of time? In my tiny insect legs I held the Dream of eternal life. So this is how the beautiful bugs live.

But as is so often the case even in a world full of flyswatters and bug zappers and insect repellant, it is not the hammer that brings doom but rather love. Her failure to curse me, to loathe me as the fly who loved her forced me to face my dirty life such as it was: I was spreading germs on her food and thus into her being. This is how I repay her love? Do not dream to be what you are not, foolish fly! Ask not what you can get but rather what you can give! Never had such thoughts entered my tiny mind before.

And then, reality.

It was not love, it was never love, it was a time mistaken. She simply had not noticed me in her food. Instantly I saw the dark shadow of the hand coming for me, the one I've spent a lifetime avoiding. Oh why oh why did I not leave sooner before I drew her ire? I could have carried that memory to the end of my life had I the integrity of a rebirthed chrysalis. I knew it was wrong to spread my disease but I just couldn't pull away from my moment in the sun. Her cry of "Goddam fly!" still rings in my ears.

I flew with the fear of a thousand angry flyswatters chasing me. Why is it only when it's too late do we understand? Now I must spend the rest of my days with heavy guilt upon my wings, barely able even to fly. I even envy the other flies now who buzz so freely. Now it is they who will curse me for bringing hatred to our species. Had I not betrayed the Special One I could have at least kept the dignity of the dung heap, such as it was. But as it is, my hearts seeks only the lost fate of a spider's meal and for my life to become useful after all.

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