A dozen fruit flies drowned in my Almond Milk backwash last night. Three could be seen vainly pulling their soaked bodies out of the white pool, still alive.
I paused “The Mummy,” leaving Tom Cruise and Annabelle Wallis frozen mid-escape from a sandstorm, to give them last rites. That is: a grimace of disgust; a swirl of the milk. The dead huddled together like chocolate sprinkles on vanilla ice cream. Sweet right to the last fatal sip.
An air conditioner from Gianni Fig’s Ristorante, just outside my bedroom window, droned into the night. The clink of dishes rose above that. Out front on the sidewalk lovers pushed open the green doors and hurried to cars, avoiding Tuesday’s usual crowd smoking outside The Tavern. A hot bulb on my window sill illuminated tangled blankets and kicked-off shoes. I gave the glass another swirl, gently rocking the dead.
Still those brave three twitched and slogged toward life, driven by a primal instinct to survive. Past fallen comrades, half-immersed in milk, toward the pool’s edge. But even if they’d accomplished that, what then? They’d still have an arduous (impossible, even) climb up the tall inside to freedom. Better to give in to what’s inevitable, and enjoy the last minutes of life, having obtained what was wanted most.
I threw off the blankets and brought the glass to the sink. Faucet water drowned two immediately, sending them down the drain on a murky white tidal wave with the other nine. But one held fast, washed up onto the glass side; unmoving, perhaps already dead.