Today there was a fly in my house.
It was having a nervous breakdown.
I was standing in my kitchen chopping lettuce for a salad when an unfamiliar noise caught my attention. It was kind of like a fly-buzzing sound, only a little higher-pitched, a little more frenzied, and punctuated with staccato-ish clicking every few seconds.
I looked around the room and spotted the culprit: there at the ceiling over the sink was a fly, one of the biggest I’ve seen this summer, flitting about and bumping into the light fixture almost maniacally. It was nuts.
I stopped my dinner preparations and watched the fly.
At first I thought that fly was on crack.
But upon further reflection, I decided it would be difficult to procure crack in just the right dosage to get a fly high. No, crack was out of the question. Absurd, really, to think of that fly shooting up. (Does one shoot up crack?)
A few seconds later, it came to me: that fly was depressed.
When is that fly going to realise that hysterically crashing into a fluorescent light bulb is not the answer to its problems, I wondered.
After thirty seconds of this, it occurred to me that the fly was suicidal.
And why not?
I had been swatting lots of flies this week, after all…surely some of the deceased were friends of the nutcase fly. Plus, the shiny black buzzer was a Fatty McFatfly, suggesting it had been living in my house, subsisting on dishwater and watermelon molecules for at least a couple of days. That’s plenty of time to make flyfriends and watch them die at the hand of my relentless swatter.
That fly probably even had a lover. I probably killed her on their honeymoon.
What a way to go, y’know?
“Hey, how was Hawaii?”
“Awful. It rained the entire time and my wife got swatted.”
“Oh, how terrible.”
“Yeah, but the coconut margaritas were to die for.”
If everyone I knew and loved was killed within a matter of days, I’d probably go postal, too.
Anyway, that fly had totally lost it. I tried putting it out of its misery with my BFF the dollar-store swatter, but the fly was in such a frenzied state that there was no telling where it was going to be at any given second. It landed on the valance over the sink, but it took off for the stove top before I could say Hey Fly, get yourself some Prozac.
In the end I did swat it and heard a tiny clang, just tiny enough for me to assume the fly was dead. But the corpse of my mentally ill insect was nowhere to be found. Not in the sink, not on the floor, not in my salad, nowhere.
Someday, maybe when we’re moving the oven to sell it on Craigslist and replace it with a stainless steel supermodel, I will come across that fly’s dead body.
And I will have totally forgotten that he ever gave me cause to think.