October 28, 2008

Our Little Friend

I remember the moment he came inside our place. It was about two weeks ago, I was out on the patio grilling dinner and left the screen door open for just a few seconds while I flipped the burgers.

I distinctively remember seeing him go through the door. I didn't think much about it at the time. After finishing my burger flipping, I closed the cover of the grill, turned around and walked inside.

Then I shut the screen door.

You know when you watch those shows about prison, or even some movie like Dead Man Walking or Shawshank Redemption, inevitably, somewhere in the beginning there is a big metal gate that slams shut. As you hear the slam and the locks jam into place you realize that there is no turning back; we're all stuck in here together. That was kind of what it was like when I shut the screen door. I didn't hear the big rolling sound of a metal gate and there were no locks jamming into place, just the sizzling of a couple burgers and the zipping of an old screen door on it's frame, but still, by closing that door I created our own little prison.

Me, Catherine and the fly.

Had I just kept the screen door open for a few more seconds, one of two things would've happened. Either the fly would've flown inside, looked around, realized there was nothing around that struck his fancy, then promptly flown back outside and went home to spend a nice Sunday evening with his wife and larvae. OR, the fly would've gone inside, tired from a tough day of buzzing, and gone to sleep on the couch. All his little insectial friends, feeling a bit jealous of their buddy's new habitat, would've all flown in and joined him and had themselves a fly mitzvah right here in our home.

On the one hand you could say I did the right thing closing the door. But I don't think so. When it comes right down to it, I don't think he would've stayed. Unfortunately, even testing the theory is not a possibility here at Cat's place. You see, we're not allowed to keep the doors open for more than 10 seconds for fear that the cat (the four-legged pet, not the two-legged girlfriend) would get out and run away and never come back to the safety and sanctity of being able to get a free plate of milk whenever he rubs against my leg and looks up at me with those big green cute eyes and utters a small little "meeeoow."

But back to the fly...

At first the fly didn't bother me. I barely noticed him. Sure every once in awhile I'd be sitting and reading on the couch when a sudden "zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" would zip by my right ear as if I were suddenly transported to some jungle environment. And maybe when I'm brushing my teeth at night I'd see a little black dot zigging and zagging in the bathroom light. But it's not like the little feller was stalking me. Dare I say, but it was almost comforting having somebody else around.

After a couple of days, though, it seemed he got a little lonely and started trying to hang out with me and Catherine a bit more. I'd be laying in bed late at night, the bedside light shining upon the book I was reading, when all of the sudden I'd see the fly buzzing around my bedside. As if he wanted to just climb in and cuddle up to us. Suddenly a family of three had turned into a family of four. Unfortunately, we didn't want to adopt.

I did some research to see if the Safe Haven Law also applied to insects. No such luck.

A few days later, sensing that the fly wasn't going anywhere, that he had indeed become part of the family, I decided to give him a name. I dubbed him Hector. More precisely: Hect-orr. He's latino, you have to roll the R's at the end.

We soon realized that Hect-orr was what you would call "a problem child." Every once in a while I'd be in another room minding my own beeswax when I'd suddenly hear Catherine scream in frustration "HECT-ORR!!! GO AWAY!!"

I'd shake my head in frustration as father's do when their sons are going through puberty and have gotten to be a royal pain in the ass.

Sometimes we'd be sitting on the couch watching TV, me and Catherine, when Hect-orr would just constantly fly in front of our faces, demanding attention. HECT-ORR!!! I'd scream while trying to swat a spanking at him. WE'RE TRYING TO WATCH TV!

But Hect-orr didn't seem to listen. I think he has childhood ADD, or whatever you call it.

After much debate, Catherine and I decided we needed to get rid of him. Adoption was one scenario, but we thought it better if we just let him go off into the wild and fend for himself. We opened doors and tried to encourage him to leave (while simultaneously keeping the cat inside, which is another story in itself). But apparently Hect-orr didn't want to go. We tried catching him in our hands or with a pair of chopsticks like they did in Karate Kid, but the little bugger was too fast - or we were too slow, I'm not sure.

Then one evening, as I was cleaning up from dinner, I opened the trash can and threw away some food remains. As I closed the lid of the trash can again, I distinctively heard some buzzing getting muffled inside. Is that Hect-orr? I thought to myself. Is he hiding in the trash can? I knew right then that I could simply take the trash bag outside and he'd be gone and this phase in our lives would be all done with. It was so simple. But, alas, I am not a simple man. What if that wasn't Hect-orr? I wondered. What if it was someone else? Maybe I'll just give it a little peak.

So I raised the roof of the trash bin ever so slightly, at which point Hect-orr yelled out a big SURPRISE! and flew away. Of course.

I told Catherine. Of course, she said.

Two days later, I got home from work and could see it in Catherine's eyes, Hect-orr was in one of his moods. I can't stand him anymore, she said to me in frustration. You need to do something. You need to get rid of him.

Then she proceeded to tell me a story of how she was cleaning up and noticed him stuck between the glass door and the screen door.

Really? I brightened up realizing this could solve everything. Then did you open the screen door and close the glass door so he would have no choice but to go outside?!

No, I got all flustered, Catherine said. I didn't know what to do, I couldn't think straight. So I didn't do anything.

And just as she said that, Hect-orr buzzed through the room. I wanted to smack him.

* * * *

I'm laying here on Tuesday morning suddenly realizing that I haven't seen Hect-orr in a few days. Maybe he sensed our dissatisfaction with his attitude. Maybe he realized that we were going to get rid of him. Maybe he ran away from home. I'm wondering if I should call the police, put out an APB or something. Missing child, looks like fly.

But no. There's a point in every child's life when he needs to fly out on his own and live his own life.

Adieu, Hect-orr. Vaya con Dios.


Karen said...

LOL. Damn that was funny.

Adios hecto-rrrrr. Yo quiero taco bell?

Trihardist said...

Ah, Hectorr. We barely knew ye.

buff_tri_girl said...

Ask the cat what happened to Hect-orr..

Cat said...

it's thursday and hect-orr is alive and well and chillin' on the left bedroom curtain.

maybe he just needed some "alone time".


Cat said...

btw, it's actually wednesday ... i've been a day off all week! must be all that bzzz bzzz bzzzing!


Captain Cactus said...

OMG ... this sounds just like our mouse story. Squeak joined us during a brief patio door opening and stuck around for a while. We tried humane traps, but no bites. We tried inhumane traps. Also no bites. Eventually, we stopped seeing him around. We don't know where our missing child went, but we're okay that he's left the nest. I just hope he's well.