I am trapped in this body that seems to be changing or aging at a rate that I can not control. With a life span of three to five days- there is so much to be done. Since my birth I have been happily confined to this labyrinthine Victorian home that has harbored generations of my family. We spend our days buzzing through ancient hallways made out of pine wood and we tan ourselves up against thin glass windows filled with sunlight and heat. The windows reflect our infernal images back upon our dilated eyes revealing an ugliness that I am just starting to come to terms with- and I am already three days old. My mother always told me that if I did not come to terms with my image in the window by the time I was three days old- I would never find peace.
With two days left to live there is so much to accomplish (I am confident that I will live to the ripe old age of five days…maybe even six). So many rooms to fly around in, so many walls to investigate. The home in which I was raised is filled with various plants and antiquated furniture so enjoyable to fly upon that I gladly forget that more than half of my life has been lived. All of the pressures involved in being a fly (the pressure to reproduce before my old age sets in and the pressure of flying enough in my life so that I can die with a felling of fulfillment) seems to become mitigated by the pleasure of resting upon a silk arm chair or an aloe plant and reciting the verse of Emily Dickinson. If you had told me that being a fly would involve such a great desire to do and see things I would have thought you were nuts. When I was young I had always thought that flies were anxious little creatures with a spasmodic will and a pestersome bzzzzz. Never could I have imaged the wonder filled world of the fly I have found out about in my later years. The beauty of flying naked and weightless through long hallways and landing upon warm afternoon windows. The beauty of crawling along ceilings and landing on the heads of humans. Tears come to my eyes when I think about how much there is to live for.
I keep to myself most of the day perpetuating no rumors about fellow flies. I spend a lot of time sunbathing upon the guest bedroom window. There I can be left alone, freed from the frenetic activity of fellow flies. I can clean my nimble legs and antenna and design ways in which I will fly to the moon on my last day of life. I am able to dream of other worlds where spirit flies still live and roam freely through hallways and furnished homes. I imagine my ancestors watching over me as I make my way through out the various rooms. Being a fly requires a strong constitution- when you are allotted only five days to live, the fear of death can be crippling, but even more so the awe of life can become overwhelming.
I make my way alone most of the time. It is true that my only purpose for living is not simply to spend my days in such a perplexed state of awe. I have my biological obligations to fulfill. The need to perpetuate my species weighs upon my soul to such a degree that I am not able to spend the days in mindless contemplation like I once did when I was young. I feel as if there is something more important that I need to be tending to. Before I come upon my final day- it is pertinent that I find a way to bring forth another me, a next of kin. Through this process of reproduction, us flies find immortality. This is how we make sense of our three to five days of life. We reproduce, and through our children become immortal. Like my father always told me, “A hen is only an egg’s way of making another egg.”
Even though I have been hard at work searching for a female fly to mate with- I have come up empty today. Night is almost upon us and after dark I have a tendency to stay put for the rest of the evening. I find particles of food (usually cat feces which I love) in various places and then rest in a safe spot until the heat of the sun returns to the windows. Tomorrow will be the fourth day of my life- what most flies refer to as the early evening of a flies life. I will spend the day searching for a mate- and into the evening if I must. If the midnight hour falls and I am yet to find the one who will give my child a chance to be born, I am willing to resign myself to a life spent alone, in awe- upon a window. Others may think that I have failed in my purpose (or utility) but I am willing to accept the responsibility of not living up to others expectations. It is a small price to pay for the hours of wonder and solitary pleasure I have experienced being a fly.