Monday, August 9, 2010

The Fly

The door is left ajar, and here comes a fly, buzzing in—not as a guest, but rather as a landlord.

The Fly is not the small kind, but rather large, black, and omnipresent. It circles around the room—once, twice, three times—assessing the territory it plans to squat, and in a flash, off it zooms away on its speeding wings through the corridor, winding its way through every bedroom, and stopping in mine. It flaps against the window, jerks to the ceiling, bounced from wall to wall like a Kadima ball.

There are a number of spots it could choose to settle in, perhaps the kitchen, where it could always find a puddle of apple juice that has dripped from a sippy-cup or a crumb of a Graham cracker forgotten by a three-year old.

But that is not the purpose of this uninvited visitor who, with neither manners not adherence to NY real-estate law, believes that ownership of a house is merely a matter of taking possession.

I refuse to relinquish my hold and move out. I don’t fail to notice that yet again, The Fly has arrived solo. It must be forever hovering at the front door waiting for the moment when I’d open it. How else can I describe The Fly’s entrance every time? And why always just one fly? If my house is such a great vacation spot, there should have been three of them, or five—

The Fly has been recognized in my household ever since my friend Lonnie became sick—and The Fly didn’t stop coming upon Lonnie’s death. Why is this unremarkable friend visiting again? Since I had never understood Lonnie when he was alive and I don’t expect to receive his messages from “the other side.” Although funny and witty, he was self-centered, lacked curiosity of the world or the generosity of heart. Even before his diagnosis I had suspected he was devoid of compassion. What does he want now?

I climb up the stairs to my attic office. I leave the door open, knowing that The Fly is seeking me out. Within seconds, it’s here, buzzing noisily, shooting from wall to wall in concentric circles meant to annoy me.

“OK. You’re making your point, except that I don’t get what it is,” I tell The Fly, then settle at my desk.

But The Fly is not one to be so ignored. It doesn’t stop its loud circling, finally pulling me away from my computer. I turn on the iPod, and Verdi’s notes spill into the room. I begin to sway, gathering energy, arch, kick a bit, and then practice the range of my old ballet pirouettes.

Landing in a grande-jetté, I glance at The Fly. Quiet at last, it perches on the edge of my desk, clapping silently by rubbing its front legs and watching me with its one thousand eyes.

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