Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Twenty-Four Hour Syndrome

Flies live for twenty-four hours.  Doesn't that seem like a huge waste of resources on the part of Mother Nature? I mean, those things are amazing. At least, their bodies are. They have multi-faceted eyes that can see dozens of views all at the same time. Can you imagine processing all of that information at once? I can barely register the finch in our tree out front and the leaves around it at the same time. And those little tiny translucent wings? Where do they get the strength to carry that thing from piles of poop to my watermelon when I'm sitting outside?

So why go to all that trouble in creating so much in the way of engineering wonders, if it is only going to be around for a day?

And not only that, couldn't the fly be given some kind of really cool task to accomplish? Because from what I observe, landing on shit, vomiting on their food, and getting caught in spider webs are the prime directives of their life. That sucks. If I was given twenty-four hours with those wings and eye coverage, I'd want to have some awesome stuff to do for my life-time.

There are times when I want to take a whole day off. Like, lay in bed and read all day kind of day. Only get up to barely eat kind of day. This isn't a day of being sick, or melancholy, just a day off. So what I was born a fly, and the day that I happened to want to be my day off, was my only day on earth. Man, talk about the energy I would have to expend in making myself get up and fly around just to bug people. I'd have no motivation to get up, and no real reason to even exist on the planet.

Poor fly. Almost makes me not want to swat them with a swatter when they hit me in the face. Or feel bad when they crash into my car windshield. Almost, but not quite.

Maybe this whole essay on flies should make me want to go out and get twenty things done every moment of every day. You know, like they talk about people who have faced death then gone on to cherish each day. Done spectacular stuff. Climbed every mountain. Seized every day. Done every inspirational cliche in the Great Book of Cliches. Nah, I'd still rather have my day off days.

But the same things could be said about us humans. I mean, we have all this brain capacity, all of this knowledge, and on the planetary time scale, our lives are not even a flicker of a second. And not just our lives, but all of humanity. Our whole human time period barely registers as a grain of sand on the length of earth time. We need to come up with some better stuff to show for our exposure on this earth. Something beyond car chase movies and celebrity magazines.

Well, not to be bragging, or anything, but my books will probably go down as one of the Wonders of What Was Accomplished by the human race when the next generation of land rulers comes into existence. I mean, they are pretty good.  So, I guess at least one of us humans has gone beyond the Poor Fly Syndrome. I just got to be the lucky one with all of this literary talent oozing from my brain.

Don't worry, though. You have a longer life span than the fly. There is hope for you yet.

Heather Leigh,
Better than a fly

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