Sep 4, 2004

Fruit Flies
Way back in July I was hurtling westwards through the air. At the same moment, in precisely the same direction, a small mass of shriveled grapes were also hurtling through the air, just a foot away from me in a little plastic dish sitting on the fold-down airline table in front of me.

At that moment, I was drifting from Nick Hornby's How To Be Good, which I was trying to read. Somehow the relatively slow pace of the book made me wonder how old I was getting, how relatively unhealthy I had been eating as of late, how pathetically sad the airline food (especially the grapes) seemed, and how my ever diminishing memory would erase this moment as it apparently cannot seem to hold onto the myriad of more important things it should hold on to, but never does.

That memory thing is funny. It fails at the most inappropriate times, like mid sentence when the word 'ironic' flees from your lips when you're absolutely certain that you knew the word a minute ago, and all that comes to mind now is 'metallic', and so instead you say "the word that describes this situation", which leads only to confused looks all around, since you're the only one who saw the irony in the first place. Or at other times, the opposite happens. Some pseudo-random place, person, smell, sound, song, knicknack, piece of clothing, movie, tv show, whatever, brings back the wrong memory at the wrong time.

The day before I had left San Jose for Toronto for a week, I tossed an apple core into the kitchen trash and watched a puff of dust float up off the garbage. On closer inspection, it wasn't dust but dozens of tiny fruit flies flying from the garbage can. They had been breeding on the remains of what was a pretty sweet canteloupe sitting in the trash.

They were actually everywhere. By the time I had found the source and tossed the trash, it was already possible to find them buzzing around the fridge and the sink. Once in a while you'd even see one in a bedroom or the bathroom.

A week later, after returning from Toronto, most of them were gone. I didn't see any in the bathroom anymore. But on white floor of the fridge, there were a bunch of dead fruit flies. I cleaned them off with a wet towel.

I don't know when the cantaloupe went rotten. The fruit flies have come and gone. Time to clean up the remains.

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