• Dana Webster

A Good Time, Not A Long Time



So, lately, I've been keeping company with Nate, an affectionate, high-energy housefly who appears to have befriended me and my clients. He's been making himself known in my office for about 3 weeks now. I looked up the lifespan of houseflies and it appears to be, at most, 3 to 4 weeks so I am already anticipating the morning I go to my office and find it devoid of Nate's frenetic antics. And, perhaps unreasonably, that makes me feel sad.


Nate is terribly persistent. He loops around my head, bops into my face, buzzes past my ears, and alights on my clothing when he needs a rest. He hangs out when I am working at my desk, taking up station on the nearby curtain or on the edge of my water glass. Mostly I swat him away because, let's face it, all that attention-getting activity is annoying. And we've been trained to believe that insects are simply a nuisance.


However, I've lately stopped automatically being annoyed by Nate's hijinks and, instead, decided to embrace his presence. I was making tea the other other morning. Nate kept me company, curious I guess. He alit on the window sill near my kettle and rubbed his hands together like he was preparing for something delectable. I moved my face in real close, which he didn't mind. I put my finger next to him, which he also didn't mind. And then, he stepped onto my finger, which I didn't mind. In fact, I was thrilled.


I understand now that Nate and I are bonded. I call to him when I haven't seen him for a while and, you guessed it, he makes an appearance. And why not? Why is that so impossible to believe? What do we know or even care about the innate intelligence and, dare I say it, affection of a housefly?


By contrast but still along the same lines, there is a stray orange tabby who hangs around our front door and pees on our welcome mat. His presence drives our indoor and most chill male, Sable, batshit crazy. The high-pitched wailing in the middle of the night is blood curdling. The other night (I say night but it was really only 5:00 and pitch dark already) Paul and I were on our back deck barbecuing chicken for dinner when this cat, I call him TomCat, came calling.


I get that TomCat was enticed to our deck by the smell of chicken. Happily, I speak feline so he and I became fast friends. TomCat performed all the ritual cat-like things to get me to feed him. He purred, he ran his body along my legs, he bumped my nose with his, he offered me his belly to rub. Did it work? Of course it did. I offered him some chicken and he inhaled it with the frenzied appetite of one who has not eaten for awhile. I get that TomCat and I had a bonding moment but it was mostly on account of the chicken.


Nate and I do not have a transactional relationship. There's no what's in it for me? We just hang out and appreciate the dynamic for what it is. Whatever that is. A relationship free of expectations and disappointments, perceived slights and betrayals. It's a purely companionable thing. Innocent in its simplicity. I could really use that these days and I don't care that I have to turn to a housefly to get it. It stills soothes my aching soul.


It's the little things that matter. The rest of it is so damn big. We live in a behemoth of a world with its attendant too big to grasp issues. Without the Nates of this world to remind us that pure, simple joys and connection are possible and desirable, we'd all be wailing in the middle of the night, just like Sable.

Sable - "We are not amused"





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