Tracy K. Lorenz

The Fly

Right at this exact moment there’s a fly on my windowsill and he appears a little dazed; perhaps that’s because he’s been beating his head against the glass for the last half hour trying to escape through a window that doesn’t open. 


I usually have compassion for all living things that aren’t spiders but flies, flies can suffer for all I care because they’ve made me suffer in the past.

A few years ago I was golfing with some guys at Grand Haven Golf Club when the wind shifted off the lake and about a billion flies descended upon us. But these weren’t just your run-of-the-mill family reunion potato salad flies, these were those Canadian flies that bite.  They not only bite, they draw blood, blood that I’ve grown attached to.

It got to the point where golf was like polo: we’d have to drive like demons to our next shot, jump out of the cart, hit the ball, jump back in and peel away, because if you stood over your shot for more than five seconds the flies would descend upon you like a smelt net.

After three holes we collected a coffee cup full of dead flies, drove back to the clubhouse, and requested a rain check.  The girl behind the counter took one look at our bloody arms and that rain check was granted.

But that wasn’t even the worst.

When I was in college I had a roommate who was a BIG TIME sleepwalker and one night he threw a lawnmower at me through a window.  The apartment was slightly south of “tidy” and included a sink full of dishes because my roommates were morbidly afraid of anything with the word “Palmolive” in the title.

The day after the lawnmower incident every fly in East Lansing decided to have a party in our apartment because when it came to repair requests our landlord was neither lickity nor split.

So I come home from class, open the door and my roommate Scrap (not the guy who threw the mower) was standing in the kitchen with a crazed, and I mean CRAZED, look on his face. In his right hand he held a loaf of Wonder Bread by the twisted closed end. He looked at me and said “I killed 100 in 88 swings.”  that’s right, in my absence he had killed 100 flies in 88 swings using a loaf of bread, a record that could last for eons.

Of course the record should have an asterisk – the flies were so engorged on generic macaroni and cheese from the unwashed dishes that they could barely move, they were like footballs with little bitty bee wings.

So when I see a fly inflicting closed head wounds upon himself I feel little sympathy. I have suffered at the hands of his ancestors and stared into the compound eyes of evil.  If this thing can’t figure out to just turn around and fly the other direction then that’s on him; I won’t take his life but I will watch it slowly leak out like a mis-hit...putt.



Printed by permission of the author. Email him at
Get Tracy’s latest book at or, or  download it from
Only $3.99, cheap.