The Fly

So, as everyday, I’m sitting in a room, inside my house, and my mind is inside that other box that is my computer.

There are three levels of separation between me and the world. The walls are white, textureless, the floor is equally flat.

The desk is polished wood. The books are ordered on the shelf. The extractor fan in the kitchen has been on, so nothing smells of anything anymore. The double-glazed window is closed. Outside, who knows what temperature it is. The front door of my house is locked. Nothing can get in, or out - not even noise.

This is my controlled environment, where I bring life to my characters and their world, where I CREATE. Except I don’t.

I stare at the flat white walls, drum my fingers on the smooth polished desk, scuff my feet on the varnished floorboards.

And then, the final straw. God only knows how, but a fly gets in, and flies around. Except, (in retrospect) it doesn’t just fly. It completes a slalom course across the room. The buzzing powers in and fades as it flashes and jerks its way towards me. It zigzags, sketching a circle around me, then it careers straight at me and whispers in my ear. It smells of dog shit and rancid oil.

It distracts me. I try to ignore it and get on with my work.

Now it steers a straight course for the window, and accelerates, a Kamikaze pilot on a mission. It hurls itself against the glass, and rebuffed, soars upward, arcing. Close to the ceiling it cuts its engine, and drops towards the light. The silence of the drone.

This time I am ready, hate-filled, with a rolled up copy of the previous draft of my novel. They make hollow contact. The fly spins, and slides inanimate down the windowpane.

What a relief. Now I can get back to being creative-not.

This sad story happened some time back. These days I’m beginning to learn that are many more original and impactful words for ‘fly’, but only if we can learn to see the fly, so to speak. I wonder how many thousands of times I’ve killed the teacher of vitality and creativity because I thought the answer lay somewhere else?

This article was first published on September 20th 2012