The Life Of A Fly
*I’m kindly asking you to scroll down and play the video while you’re reading this for a dramatic purpose*
It’s around 3 in the afternoon. The sun is shining as bright as it can for a day in late August, but I can tell it’s struggling. I am sitting before my laptop, there’s a cup of black and very bitter coffee on the side. The balcony door is wide open and I can see the yellow and orange leaves of the grapevine slowly dying in agony. My nan says the grapevine is ill and there will be no grapes this year.
The room is filled with a smell of watermelon and coffee, and with a couple million moments which will never really come back. A fly comes in from the open door. I start wondering if it was ever meant to enter our living room, if this event was part of its predefined path of existence. Is the fly now part of our history and is it ever going to see its family again? I guess this is an example of when an open door is the worst that could happen to somebody.
But a fly is not the only thing I can hear. There’s music which makes every cell in the air vibrate. I’d say it’s the equivalent of an earthquake for a fly. The music is coming from another open window. It can only be one window — that of my Britain-born neighbours.
I get my phone and shazam the classical tune that’s audaciously disrupting the lazy hours of the day. They are playing German composer Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser — Overture.
At this very second, the whole neighbourhood is filled with this melody and I like to imagine that every neighbour is having their windows open and is savouring this glorious moment. I hope I am not the only one who realises that the whole world except for us is missing out on this. It is taking place right now, in this unique form, and the circumstances will never be the same again.
I think the leaves are lucky to be dying to the sound of this music. It could have been worse — there could have been no music at all. I think about the fly that may never go home again, and about all the flies that will be missing it. I think about the ghosts in the room and every smile, every tear that is forever locked up in here.
I miss him. And he must be missing what I am witnessing right now — the music, the smell, the lost fly which has just landed on my knee, the dying leaves, the distant sound of a TV, the touch of the wind, the taste of the coffee and the watermelon which he loved so much.
Perhaps he used to savour every moment like this one, just like me now. I don’t know if we are even allowed to take such moments with us on the other side. But I bet he took this one with him.
If I have to put it into more simple words, life killed him relentlessly like a person kills a fly.
j u s t. l i k e. t h a t.
You kill a fly without thinking what the consequences will be for its family, its home, its friends, its boss, you don’t think what hole this will dig into some other fly’s heart.
If I’m honest, at times he was a little annoying and crazy. He was eccentric and authentic.
Hardships aside, he lived an honorable and good life. Perhaps like most of the flies do.
Don’t you judge or laugh.
Flies might be exploring outer space, for all we know. They might be educated, intelligent, sympathetic. You don’t know that. I don’t know that.
There might not be an essential difference between our life and a fly’s life, except for the length, for all we know.
My neighbours are a family from Ireland and England and are probably the nicest people around. They love to play their music loud. I love to listen to it. They bring colour to this neighbourhood. I’ll call the man T. T. and I were once conversing about the crazy neighbourhood we live in. Eventually he told me:
I’m a little crazy, too. We’re all a little crazy here.
He pointed at his head and laughed. This was a genuinely happy laugh which, I know, hides a lot of past pain and trauma. It hides the fact that life is probably trying to get rid of him like a fly. Like all of us.
Am I crazy, too? Does living in this neighbourhood make me crazy? What do you mean, T.?
T. is the person who cried when I asked him about Brexit. I wonder if flies can cry, too. One thing I know for sure, though. There’s no Brexit for flies.
Or at least I hope so…
There’s people you’ll probably never see again. The thought that torments me the most is that you don’t know when the last goodbye is. The last smile. The last joke, the last conversation, phone call, message, stroll…
Life is bright, it’s colourful, beautiful, nasty, ugly, difficult, intense, it’s too much, it’s addictive, sweet, sour, bitter, hateful, monotonous, melancholic, boring, exciting, dynamic, complicated, amusing, entertaining, peaceful, relentless, it gives, it takes.
Moments like this one are what makes it worth living. It’s the music you hear when you least expect, the smell of the burning summer and the upcoming autumn, the sound of silence and the lost fly in the room, the unexpected phone call and the caring and genuine “how are you?”, the coffee your mom makes for you and the meal your nan prepares for you when you are ill or busy working, the smile which gives you the strength you need, the smell that reminds you of your childhood and of him, whoever that might be for you, the fight you had earlier and the makeup sex you will have tonight, the peaceful mornings, the snowflakes on your eyelashes, the person you wait months and years to meet, the desire you feel for your special one, every sunrise and every sunset you are given the chance to see.
This very moment, when you are reading this, with everything happening around you —your surroundings, the people you can hear or see, the smell in your room, the weather, the political situation, the date, your love life at this very moment, your thoughts, your age, health and your feelings, your life will never be the same as it is right now.
And you can’t really do anything about it. Just like a fly doesn’t have many options moments before you kill it. The only thing you can do is love what you have, see, feel, taste, touch. A fly might have moments to do it. You might have your whole life.
So savour it.
Tell them you love them. You miss them. You can’t wait to see them.
Call them. Message them. Make them a cup of coffee. Hug them.
It’s all about this very moment.