The morning began with a philosophical bang. I yawned. Blinked. The fly crawled up the glass. Outside. No. The fly crawled inside. It was trapped with me inside my bedroom. Perception could easily be—and often was—tricked. Perception by its very nature was a trick. The ruse informed me there were worlds which could be called objective, or loosely described that way—but then again there were not.
Interiors/Exteriors. There was a vast world that always blurred the distinctions. Perception cast mirages. Or I could at last correctly perceive the dualities. Say what you see. The world was a knock-knock joke that tricked you into the wrong answers. I stirred.
I approached with my fingers spread. Reality instructed me. I drew closer. Pointed. I actually could hear the buzzing audibly. This led me to suspect it was inside the house. Early conclusions. I could be wrong.
I made a finger regardless. I probably resembled Jehovah, God of mundane situations, casting a sober judgment. God’s massive pointer thrust omnipotently or malevolently at a black speck. I appreciated the disturbance less and less. It occurred to me at this point this could be the way all prayers sounded to God: mindless, ineffectual buzzing. Jehovah stayed on course regardless. He pointed. He pointed at Adam. At Noah. At Abraham. At Solomon. None of the above. The fly.
—just a big flying insect that by my standards was marginally sentient, and really to me was closer to dirt. I speculated on other possibilities. The fly could be on the loose. There could be a crack in the window.
Possibilities. Some possibilities collapsed (faster than others) most notably the notion that I at all believed in myself.
I was most certainly not the Old Man-on-the Sistine Chapel God. I was not offering up the benevolent gift of life. My intentions this time around were malevolent.
Then I realized in a sense, I might as well be Him. He guesses sometimes. Hm. God probably guesses most of the time. He probably couldn’t resolve the riddle. He probably couldn’t fathom layers upon layers dimensional. It's too much of a strain to separate them: to fathom them singularly: then interdependently: fly, household and human realities—and the perceptional problems in between.
I should act fast. Swat it. Swat it. End this. I should have already made my move, or reacted with an arbitrariness that proved I was nothing. Drowsy. Pestered. Hoary. Near-sighted. Human. Nothing. Everything. Deified. I balled a newspaper and stepped closer. The buzzing, the buzzing seemed much farther away. It attenuated. It reached me inside a funnel. The fly was free. It sucked on a sticky substance outside. That’s all. Conclusions. Conclusions seemed as irrelevant as morality. Yet I suddenly, or contrarily believed with a godlike fanaticism that the fly had to exist inside this prison which for me was the world because so did I; and whether I was God's agent, the matter was settled in relative terms. The fly had to suffer the consequences. It was a goner. Except course if it's already safe—safe all along, and buzz, buzz, buzz, laughing at God.
darryl lorenzo wellington
is a poet, playwright, performance artist, essayist, journalist and syndicated columnist whose articles on poverty, race relations, civil rights, Southern history and African American history have appeared in The Nation, The Progressive, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlantic, Dissent, The Washington Post, New Politics, Crisis (The NAACP magazine), Huffington Post, N+1, Talk Poverty, and The Guardian. His chapbook Life’s Prisoners is the recipient of the 2017 Turtle Island Quarterly poetry chapbook award.