I am alone, well mostly, except for the fruit flies. Fruit flies are not as poetic as fireflies, they do not incite anything except a niggling sense of uncleanliness. They are resilient, stubborn and in a rain soaked city like this, they are more suited than me. They are small, brown, mostly light so that it is difficult to pin them down under a finger. They are many in number and so inimical to meaning that I cannot even have a nightmare about metamorphosing into them.
So I Google, “How to get rid of fruit flies?”, and I am told, lemon, cloves, wine bottle traps, lemongrass spray, this oil, that oil, and I try, lemon, cloves, wine bottles, lemongrass, this oil, that oil. First I go at them with vengeance, then impatience, then anger, they reduce in number but do not vanish.
So I Google, “How long do fruit flies live?” and I am told 40 to 50 days, I am told of the three stages- egg, larva, pupa; the sole purpose of their lifespan seems to be reproduction, once the female is ready for mating, which is 48 hours after emerging from puparia, she can begin and store multiple inseminations.
I sit down dejected, what chance do I have against this sort of rabid multiplication? I toy with the idea of buying a magnifying glass to see where the eggs are hidden around the house, but I do not have the time, unlike the fruit fly’s sole goal, I have many other preoccupations.
The fruit fly then appears in a dream or a nightmare if you will, as small as it is, and mocks me. At first I can hardly hear the indistinct murmur from the insect, it circles my head repeatedly, escaping my fingers, I hear a persistent buzzing that makes me dizzy. I wake up disoriented, “But fruit flies do not make any sound”, is my first thought. I must have dreamt an Emily Dickinson poem then.
Into the kitchen for my morning cup of tea, and there they are, some awake earlier than others, Google tells me that they sleep seven hours every night, quite like me.