Fruit Fly

by | Apr 7, 2020 | Fiction, Issue Fourteen

A fruit fly has been hovering around my face for days, though maybe it isn’t the same fruit fly, since I’ve been told that fruit flies only live for twenty-four hours, yet there it is, for the third day in a row, just out of my peripheral vision, circling my ear as if I’m a piece of rotten fruit, which must mean I am dying, not just in the sense that every day we are all closer to death, but that mine must be imminent, urgent, the decay inside me pungent enough to call out to fruit flies, attracting them the same way they are attracted to the sticky sweet smell of the wine at the bar where I work, where the bartenders trap them in shallow cups of dish soap, and although I find this grotesque and torturous the others don’t and so they wash them down the sink without even watching the soap change to frothy bubbles, without thinking about death in drainpipes, because they are only concerned with what customers might think if they see tiny bugs flying near the Crianza, and I bite my nails at the injustice, knowing I won’t change their minds since I only work there part time for the extra money I need pay my divorce attorney, a woman with a sharp chin and a blunt nose whose starkness is a chasmic contrast to the way I way feel, that is, formless and distracted, my thoughts drunk and stumbling, which is probably the same way a fruit fly ends up dead in a cup of dish soap, a tragedy born from an innocent looping flight, its tiny body pulled toward a smell that feels like home until it is dumbstruck by the sudden weight of its wet wings, the suck against its tiny body, the soap viscous, opaque, and as rheumy as the eyes of my old blind dog who is outside dozing in the shade, wagging his tail, content to simply feel the shifts in light and dark, to smell the crabapples that fall from the tree, aware only of his hunger, the peace that comes from slowness, and the sound of me snapping to call him in for dinner, a sound made from my finger slapping against the flesh near my thumb and an invisible echo of air.  

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