I guess you could say I have a fly for a pet. I rather like him because he’s tenacious and unrelenting in his goal. After all, what I see in him I like in me. Not sure where he sleeps at night but that doesn’t matter. It’s his daytime activity that is the most fun to watch. He’s been buzzing and fussing around my place for many days now. He acts like he has a very important place to be but can’t quite get there.
I think this particular fly is a “he” because he hasn’t stopped to ask for any directions. If he did, he would come to learn two things: 1. there is no escape and 2. here is better than there. Oh sure, he could lay in wait until the front door opens and make a dash for it but the part that would deter, if he asked, is that it’s currently averaging -10 Celsius out there these days. Could enough to freeze the brass balls off a well he would get the idea quickly enough if he succeeded.
My place was built at the turn of the century so the windows are a bit loose. I keep the draft in check and the heat in by covering all my windows with a special sheet of clear plastic. The idea is to tape the sheet to the window frame and use a hot hair dryer to tighten up the wrinkles so it doesn’t flap. It makes it completely see through, in fact, it’s quite invisible, even to a fly’s thousand eyes. It’s also as tight as a drum.
If I believed in reincarnation it might be possible that this particular fly was an ex jazz drummer who turned bad. A seedy previous life of bad karma now destined to come back as a bug with a beat. He has a real affinity for the drum like window covering. He’s quite good actually and keeps up a half decent beat. He rotates through the house diligently “attempting” escapes. The phrase “planning his escape” also comes to mind but his action has much more impulse than forethought, including consideration of the consequences of success.
Every time he enters a room it is a truly grand entrance worthy of operatic drama. He flings through the open door like a diva missing a boa and makes swoop high in the room and before hurling himself headlong at the window of his discontent and bondage. Seeking that elusive chink in the armor, that small split in the plastic, perhaps through which he will, unbeknownst, end up in the no man’s land between out and in.
Should he have asked, he would learned the theory of the basic law of physics, that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, especially on a drum head. But he learns the hard way, through experience. His headlong hurtle results in a predictable “boing” off the drum tight clear sheet. Undaunted by a minor setback, he hurls himself at it again, and again, ad nausem producing a rather audible dum, dum, dum, dum. If the beat weren’t as rapid as machine gun fire it would be a worthy back beat that might inspire someone to start up an impromptu rap diddy. “Yo, what up, I’m da king of da fling and as I pop thru this thing I’m gonna sing.”
Alas life with a fly as a pet is not all not all jiving grove beats. He does eventually pause and cling to some vertical surface with his back legs while he preens his front legs by rubbing them together like crickets do when they are calling a mate for a date. He rubs his front legs together like a prisoner who wrings his hands with glee and satisfaction with the anticipation of a break through at long last from the tunnel under the jail.
A great philosopher once said it is a great gift to see the world in a grain of sand. Maybe the fly reminds me of life. Like the times I have doggedly pursued what I thought was better only to realize what I had was the best thing going. Or the times that I have tried to make a change, given up and returned to it sometime later with the odd feeling I had done that before.
I guess all pets can teach us something and this little fellow is no exception. Here are a few life lessons from the bard. Stop trying so hard to be somewhere you are not and for that matter someone you are not. Live in the moment and enjoy this season in your life. If beating you head against the proverbial wall of life is producing no results then for God’s sake stop and try something else. At least step back and get some perspective and see where you can fit in the big picture. Humans call it lifting your nose off the grindstone to check that what you are working so hard for is still worth it. Tenacity and conviction inspires people to tell stories.
So I have a fly for a pet. He may not be to wise, but who am I to call the kettle black. His relentless pursuit of his dream to be free and unfettered by walls is both an admirable and dumb. I should know I’ve been there. Who knows, maybe he’s having the time of his life. Maybe we both are. I’ve started calling him Alfred when he is in ear shot and if he keeps up his good behavior he might get parole this Spring.