Photo of green speckled ceramic mug on green background

The Fly Guy

Every day, I walk through the house and collect dead flies. I’ve got so many that when I hold them they peak in the middle; I have to stack them carefully, legs holding like fragile velcro hooks so they don’t tumble out of my hand. Bodies like hollow shells of aluminum foil shavings. They feel almost… heavy.

What would it feel like to crush them in my fist? Not in the living room, over the light yellow carpet. I could do it outside.

I could put them in a bowl with a spoon, and just before Rosalyn gets home I’ll add milk.

Milk would ruin them; it’s not worth the joke.

Plus, then she’ll know that’s what I’ve been doing instead of my résumé.

I take a mug from the cupboard and pour them in. They sound like balled-up saltwater taffy wrappers. There still aren’t enough to reach the brim. I take the mug to the basement, and after an hour of moving grime-grayed shelving, flowerpots, and broken patio furniture, I have enough to look straight across the lip of the mug and see legs like eyelashes, wings like nail clippings, red eyes like hardened drops of blood peeking over the edge.

I wish this were a real job. I’d get a van with a logo. I’d be the go-to.

It would be irresponsible not to count and photograph these. For posterity.

Two hundred and fifty-eight flies.

In slippers on the back patio, I carefully ball my hands around them.

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  1. jim ilika

    “red eyes like hardened drops of blood peeking over the edge”.

    If I still had an office, I would have this quote done in calligraphy and in a frame over my desk. I also might get a fly swatter and fill up a coffee cup with the corpses because I like the image so much. To quote Allen Ginsberg, “I saw the best flies of my generation…”

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