Century #5: The Fly in the Basement

11/7/1988

I have to turn on the light now as darkness has come into my basement office. This is were I write. The silhouettes of trees stand against the last gray background of this long  wet day. It is autumn and that means rain and cold at the northern end of the Puget Sound where I live at the top of a small mountain.

A silent fat fly weaves slowly by my face making a moving shadow on the whitewashed cinder block wall. I can’t see my shadow except the movement of my fingers on keyboard, the rest of me inseparable from the darkness outside of the small dome of light.

My fingers are cold and I am noticing the rest of my body is chilled.  I rise about 5:30 get a large cup of coffee and carefully bear it down the steep wooden stairs each morning  to write before I head to work. The mornings have been growing progressively colder as they bend toward the end of the year, but even in the summer it is cool down here. Soon I will have to light the wood stove in the corner before I get to work.

The fly is back and is creating a painting from moisture, using its proboscis to systematically cover a space with numerous tiny circles of spit. I wonder if it is sentient. Maybe it is  trying with its last energy to communicate with other sentient beings before it dies. The fly is moving down and around the inside of the glass planting its foot shaped appendage quickly stamping 4 or 5 rough circles, slightly overlapping, and then shifting its body and legs, covers another tiny space on the glass with almost microscopic circles . It has moved almost halfway around the glass at this point.

I am starting to feel hungry. I must leave the mystery of the fly and get something to eat. I wonder what I will find when I come back down. I wonder if the fly knows.

This entry was posted in Century, Fiction, novel projects, paying attention and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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