I don't know what to do. I'm sitting here, trying to read the paper, in the kitchen and I'm getting dive-bombed by... no, not just flies, but MATING flies. A veritable fly orgie. There's couplings and menage a troi-ings in my hair, on my arms, in my water. This must be the last hurrah before the cold dampens the meet market on my front window.
I find it difficult to swat mating flies. I once stepped on mating garden slugs... well.. .they were just beginning their hours-long magnum opus and I've found it impossible to forgive myself because mating slugs are one of this world's trippiest spectacles (please, stop reading this NOW and go youtube it! NOW!) I'm ill suited to violently introducing death into the midst of biology's greatest ecstatic achievement.
Are the flies in ecstasy? Does it sound like: BzzzzzzzZ? or BxxxZ!
It's not just meat n' greet here. No. There's drama too. This one fly is going back and forth between two. I'm bad at fly gender-assessment so I'm not sure if I'm observing a jerk-fly promising his last few hours to both fly-ettes or if I'm watching a tart-fly gaming for expensive accessories. A bi-fly unable to commit one way or the other? And I suppose, statistically there must be some gay flies cruising my kitchen. Who needs TV soaps when you've got flies?
If they could just stop mating, I'd be able to hit them with the fly swatter
I recently read that Oprah's new-found, profound deep respect for all life has caused her to stop killing flies and spiders in her house. Either she hires out all her killing or she lives in a massive maggot and mice infested house with a top layer of spiders, frogs and snakes.
No. Really. I understand where she's coming from. I used to be like that too (and yeah...I'm patronizing. This is something people say when they want to tell you that they are much higher than you are on a rung of stages we all climb through towards enlightenment... not recognizing of course that there's no hierarchy of stages, except for this one with the non-killing of minor bugs). I used to be Jain. I still enjoy Jain meditation, but once I realized that even within my own blood, I could never get those white cells to stop killing off the foreigners, I gave up on the non-killing ideal. I came to see death and killing not as my enemies but as my henchmen. On a cellular level, me and death are tight. Like that.
This is how it is in here. My house is my habitat. And like every living thing on this planet, I deserve at least that. I get to protect my home and my food from invaders. And I do it all without long lasting, poorly aimed weapons such as pesticides. If sizes were reversed, would the spider gently free me from his web? Would the gopher allow me to filch scraps? Would the mice feed me under that table? As a legitimate being taking her miraculous turn at existence, it is my right to have a home and food and I don't feel guilty about it. The flies, spiders, frogs and hoodlums can go outside. There's a big world out there, just perfect for them. But within these walls, their guts are my floor polish.
Death is my friend. So far, it's done well by me, except for some seriously untimely mistakes I believe it has made. Aside from those unforgivable f-ups, I am grateful for death. Even as a vegetarian (mostly). My farm life has put me in greater touch to this most essential element of life. We've killed over 30 gophers, so that we can grow SOME THING here. I've watched them decompose, watched the peculiarly marked beetles lick their bones. My electric fence has killed four birds. My trough, three birds. My cat? umpteen. (Note to bird lovers: I've also planted trees and shrubs in habitat-creating pairings) We've electrocuted to crispy oblivion 4 mice here (a fraction of my lifetime total). I've killed hundred of flies and spiders. Perhaps millions of plants and god knows how many bacteria and viruses. My home is made of dead trees and dead rocks made in to sheets. My life here is made possible by billions of deaths of humans that made room for me, even soldiers, pioneers, pilgrims. And this brings me to the near genocide of the Children of the Sun on who's land I squat. Can't be thankful for that... oh my... that's a very complicated issue that is beyond the scope of this current blog entry.
All in all, death has done well by me. And when it's my time to go slowly, but not too slowly, painlessly and non-traumatically after a long long life, I should think that I will be glad to repay death, and all those dead stars who made my molecules possible.
After this marvelous pep-talk, I now feel prepared to un-sheath my hot-pink swatter and slaughter.