The Innate Wisdom of Flies

I hate to write this blog, but I ought to write it.

It is about flies swarming and making our life miserable, wretched. And I think of the politicians in the Philippines, the homeland of our vagabond heart. 

These are flies too, of a different kind. But they are the same pestering kind. 

And these flies in the summer swarm to multiply. In the heat of the tropics, they do!

Their collective act is called 'ghosts' among the Anglo-Saxon people who made it sure that they have a name for this, an act that has pestered us so endlessly. 

But this end of the Spring season--at this time that the April showers and Barber's showers and sakura trees are in full bloom--the flies multiply like blooms too. 

Except that they are a nuisance. 

The riot of colors everywhere cannot make me still, with flies ghosting, and promising more baby flies in so short a time. 

How can they reproduce so quickly is a miracle to me, with all the laws of nature suspended.

At our meeting at the Nakem Organizing Committee on May 5, Dr Raymund Liongson took it upon himself to eradicate the two flies that annoyed us for a long time.

Of course, some of us helped, but we can only do so much with our rolled newspaper or rolled agenda sheets.

Our bare hands in perennial clapping position could only do so much, but I took my chance. Of course, I lost every chance I had. The clenched fist alternative could have been better.

How could it be that seven people were terrorized by these two flies ghosting, swarming and in full frenzy looking for a she-fly to mate?

I did not tell them, of course, that my neighbors and I had those troubles beginning two weeks ago, and that all the members of my family have started to hone their skills at fly swatting.

It helped that we bought several fly swatters made in China. 

The colors of the swatters are like the proud colors of the rainbow by the Makakilo mountains in the west, the mountains that appear like marching giants and witnessing all the things we have been doing to declare war against these flies.  

A niece Googled home remedies: sweet basil, orange peelings, lemon peelings, and vinegar.

We ran to Walmart and spent more than half an hour looking for the real sweet basil, and ending up with a puny one, the only one left in that Walmart jungle of plants and shrubs and dreams of an urban garden.

I repotted the sweet basil and put it in the most conspicuous of all places: onto the center of the dining table-cum-children's study table.

It was evening when we got home, and so we did not try whether that trick worked. Flies sleep too, or rest from pestering people in the evening hours. 

Or so it seems.

We had a full day ahead after that night of sleep without dreaming of flies. 

Or having had to swat one.

In the meantime, the colorful swatters hang still, so still in their appropriate places, away from the prying eyes of these rumormongering flies. 

If it were Martial Law, all these minute enemies could have all landed in prison.  

Except that, of course, there can never be a regime of marching soldiers in these islands of our exilic lives. 

Far off in that other side of this Pacific, in those blue and green islands yonder number more than 7000, the memory of soldiers ruling over the people's lives is real, and fly swatting was for the lesser foot soldier in order to keep clean the mess halls of generals and the military lords.

The following day came and the flies came back gleefully flying in all directions in all our living spaces, and even until today, the terror has remained.

We tried the fly trap too--a very expensive one, with so much dollars for just two pieces. It did not work; we trapped a house lizard instead, a young one, possibly seduced by a fly flying to-and-fro that trap, but too brilliant to try its tiny leg on the gluey paper.

So here we are, swatters on one hand, and with the one hand typing this note, we are committed to eradicating these flies from our living spaces. 

And our lives.

Let them file a complaint with their Creator: we are willing to defend ourselves.

So now we are studying how to angle the swatter, how to make the right trajectory, and how to put together the sufficient torque when we raise our hands to deliver the final verdict to these nonpeople. 

We are declaring a war: fly against people! 

We can only hope that the people of the Philippines can get back the courage to declare war agains the flies of their political lives. 

The heat of the tropics has caused them to lose the energy to put fly swatting as part of their agendum for a better and fairer collective life.

May 6, 2013

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