The pandemic took a lot of things away from me. With social hangouts no longer possible, I suddenly found myself extremely isolated. I gave Bumble a few tries, but nothing could make my loneliness go away. Not even Michael from 30 miles away.
But this changed once a fly found his way into my dorm.
At first, he was a nuisance. The fly’s constant buzzing made it hard to concentrate on completing a pset or trying to flirt with that one cute senior in my Zoom breakout room. Just when I was about to relate the complexities of the human psyche to the turbulence of the second circle of Dante’s Inferno, the fly would swan-dive right beside my ear and crush any chances I had of appearing as the really smart sophomore who also likes to keep it cool and casual.
But over time, the fly started to feel like familiar company. If I ever got a grade on a test that angered me, the fly would perch on top of my computer screen and listen to me rant for hours. If I found a funny TikTok, I would show it to the fly and watch as he rubbed his legs together in excitement. The fly was there for all the times I laughed, cried, screamed, sang, and ate ice cream in the dark.
And before I knew it, I was falling in love.
Our relationship flourished in the time we spent together. We came up with nicknames for each other, me calling him “Marty” and him calling me “Bzzzt”. We watched movies together. We ate meals together. Marty would land on my dining hall food to pee, and I would pretend not to notice and eat the food anyway. You know, the stuff of erotica. We spent all of our time together, and I felt like I finally met someone who was on the same wavelength as I was. I envisioned our futures together, from our grand wedding, to our many half-human, half-fly babies, to even our old age as Mr. and Mrs. Marty the Fly.
But of course, not all love stories are meant to last forever, especially when you’re dealing with a creature with a short lifespan. When I woke up one morning, I found Marty’s tiny body resting peacefully on my desk. It took me a lot of strength to hold back the tears and give Marty a proper funeral. I gave Marty one last kiss on his tiny lips before wrapping his body in a napkin and throwing the corpse in the trash.
Life was hard after I lost Marty. I had to learn how to function again in a room that was a lot quieter than before. But I keep moving forward in Marty’s memory, because I know Marty would tell me to not let the trials of today stop me from having faith in tomorrow. Or at least that’s what I think he’d say. I don’t really speak fly.
“Marty” the fly
2021 – 2021