Flies in the Kitchen


Yesterday, I looked closely at a fly, noted the iridescent green of its bumpy back, and decided that was my favorite color. I looked at its helmet face and complicated body. I didn’t swat it because I don’t like how they squish.

But that was yesterday. Today I realized what a sucker I’d been because now there were 50 flies in the kitchen, split evenly between two windows, hiding out under the blinds. I made a fly trap from a water bottle, using a banana peel, vinegar, and old spaghetti sauce as bait.

While I waited for the trap to work, I decided to try out our newly inherited paper shredder. Oh! the satisfaction! I never knew how enjoyable it could be. The gas and electric bills became confetti. The mortgage statements became rodent bedding. The rejection letters were nothing but the soft, curled grey of a memory.

When I returned to the kitchen to see how my trap was working, I saw that it wasn’t. It had trapped only the stupidest two. The others were having a festival, forming their fly relationships, planning their maggot families. It irritated me. So I got out the handheld vacuum and sucked them all up.

Their new cylindrical prison was clearly overcrowded. Some were stunned. Some buzzed with indignation. I could have left them to die but I’m no warden. I see no need to try and govern the lives of others. So I brought them outside to the compost heap, which isn’t a heap at all, but a series of holes I dig, fill up and cover over. And I set the flies free.


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