Lord of the flies
My mother spent a lot of time in my garden in the five weeks she was here. She scooped out the fresh compost from the compost bin and used it to pot and repot my houseplants. So great was her contribution to my well-being that my houseplants started to breed flies.
Yes, flies - those little pests that don't bite or sting, just irritate.
Because the compost wasn't sterilised, it shouldn't have been used indoors. Neither my mother nor myself knew this fact.
I've watched these little pests grow and fly and irritate.
Each day, I fold an issue of BusinessWeek or other magazine that I've read and then use it as a fly-swapper. And when it's covered with fly corpses, I throw it into the recycling bin.
No sooner than I've cleaned the windows, they are dirty again. Dead flies, smeared against the kitchen windows. Half-dead flies trying to crawl out. Flattened flies. Big flies. Small flies.
When my mom was busily manning the kitchen, she used to remark how stupid the flies in England were. I didn't take notice. Now I suddenly realise what she's been doing during the five weeks. She was both breeding and killing flies.
Like mother, like daughter, I've become the lord of the flies.
16 September 2002 Monday
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