There is a fly in my room, whom I have christened Edouard (franco-spanish spelling of course) He seems very fond of making his presence known at night right before I am about to fall asleep.
I am lingering blissfully on the subtle ledge between sleep and consciousness when a gentle but disruptive,
bzzz bzzz bzzz bzzzz bzzzz bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
For all my having named him you might think that Edouard and I have grown to love each other, like the cricket from Mulan, he might become a tiny companion.
But in fact I try to murder Edouard almost nightly. I chase him about with a shoe for some time, but my room has peculiarly high ceilings and i think Edouard knows i can't reach him there.
Worn out by failure and futility I go to sleep vowing "Tomorrow night Edouard, tomorrow night!" and occasionally I shake my fist at him to let him know I really mean business.
But Edouard, on his lofty perch, laughs a tiny fly laugh.
He's buzzing about my lamp right now, and oh how I despise him.
Once I found a spider in my shower, and I couldn't bear to kill it. I can't explain why. Could have been my very young readings of Charlotte's Web. It could be the strange affection I've always had for them. I used to make pets of them when I was too young to know that they were supposed to be frightening.
In any case, I didn't kill her, and named her Lucy. I only saw her about once a week. I've no idea where her web was, I never saw it, but when i sould see her scurrying across the wall I would smile and say, "Hullo Lucy,"
But in a plot twist strangely like Charlotte's Web, I started noticing that instead of seeing Lucy once a week, I was seeing several smaller Lucys.
Lucy, whom I had treated as a guest, had had the bad manners to reproduce in my home, and where one spider is a charming eccentricity, several is unacceptable, so I killed all of Lucy's offspring.
Sometimes I ponder the moral question here. Am I a better person for letting Lucy live, or a worse person for killing all her children. Would it have been better for me to kill Lucy to begin with, and therefore have less spider deaths on my head? Some of them probably escaped, does this redeem me?
I think like most big question, there is no easy answer, except perhaps that I live in squalor.
Strangely I've never felt any great longing to spare Edouard.
I think maybe flies are like chickens: they deserve to die.
Chickens are savage stupid animals and I don't think they can process emotions like happiness or misery. When I worked at "This is the Place" There were always several cases of Baby oh-so-cute-and-fluffy chicks brutally pecking and trampling their brethren and sistren to death! One time I found a dead chicken in my yard. It's eyes look the same living or dead. No life has gone out of them. They are always blank and alien.
They're not like sheep, or pigs, who are feisty and lovable. The best thing they can do is be food.
I guess the lesson here is really, the only animals who deserve to live are the ones that are easily anthropomorphised.
But I still eat sheep and pigs, so maybe the real lesson is that I am a carnivorous hypocrite.
One thing I know, Edouard and I shall meet again and he shall curse the day he pupated!
Destiny waits for thee, Edouard!