The Fly Problem

{inspired by R.C. Waldun’s video}

Feeling the crescendo of Chopin’s classical piece carrying my body far, far away, drowning out the sound of the bustling streets and people moving towards lecture halls, I walked towards the tram. With my headphones in, hands in pockets and book bag close to my side, I braved the striking cold.

Disrupting my vivid daydream, a fly appeared. There it was, in the dead of winter: an enigma. Swatting it away, I continued walking towards the tram station, but the critter did not waver and accompanied me throughout my short walk. It’s presence there brought about a constant buzzing orbiting around my head until my mind slowly grew accustomed to it and muted the irritating sound, favoring the piano playing through my phone. The sound was gone, but I could feel it’s presence. Why me? I thought.

And just as quickly as it appeared, the fly vanished. I could not pinpoint when it left my field of view, but it did, taking with it any thought of the growing annoyance that had festered in me.

I walked onto the carriage, thinking of some minuscule detail about something I’d seen on my way there and sat down, with an open a book on my lap, ready to read for the duration of the short commute. Before I could delve into the lines, my attention was grabbed by a profusely loud gentleman at the front. He seemed to be speaking on the phone with someone, totally engaged in such a manner that he hadn’t realized he was being so loud. This being a daily occurrence for me, I got ready to return to my book, but something sparked my interest.

“…this fly after me the whole day… I know, haven’t seen one in a while… thought it was just me…”

“Thought it was just me…”  Here I was, sitting in the same carriage as a man who asked himself why me? Both of us having shared the same annoyance over a peculiar fly mere minutes before our ride, but in solitude. Returning back to the pages of my novel, I let out a chuckle.

R.C. Waldun’s video discussed how literature lets us see things about ourselves in others- things that we would not particularly have shared due to their sensitivity or minuteness. The man on the tram, in this case serves the purpose of symbolizing the importance of texts; how books and authors allow us to experience the one thing almost all people long for: to be seen, to know that we are not alone in our experiences.