Sunday, August 17, 2008

simple ceremony

There's a dead fly next to the sink, and I can't think of anything other than the events which might have come to pass resulting in this death. Starvation, thirst, or exposure to the elements. Depression, anxiety, or a heart heavy with loneliness. An accident, a suicide, or blunt force trauma. This list gets longer, and includes more words than I have minutes to write at the moment.

Its thorax rigid, with six little black legs stuck straight up in the air, and its diaphanous wings spread out, this is a symbol of what I – we all – would one day come to be: a corpse. Red, beady, compound eyes unblinking, unliving, there is an emptiness here which suggests that a certain energy has moved on. Just as our eyes, too, will one day be still as glass orbs, and just as soulless, signalling to all that it is time to say goodbye. 

But, no, there would be no funeral for this fly. No grieving loved ones that I know of. No archaic rituals to smooth the passage of its soul from this realm to the next. No destruction of this empty husk by earth or by fire. No–

But now I'm struck by an idea. 


And I snatch a few squares of bathroom tissue off of the roll, gather up the fly's body in the wad, toss it in the toilet, and flush. The black speck spirals down into the void with the rushing water, and I make a mental note to someday soon clean the porcelain bowl. This rite ends with me – the pastor, priest, or master of ceremonies – washing the imaginary germs off of my hands, and walking out the lavatory door, closing the light behind me.

I've things to do, and can't be bothered with these trivialities any longer. I've words to write, sentences to form, and writer's block to shrug off. Moreover, I've this nasty, lingering, lurking sense of mortality to forget about. This story ending, this final act, this d'enouement, that we all must put out of mind lest we become trapped down in it.

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