On the first warm-enough-to-roll-the-windows-down day of the summer, my family would pile into the car and take a long drive through the country – which was really just a few miles outside the city where there wasn’t much traffic and there was some green space. Daddy always drove and Mom was in charge of the radio. He drove fast over hills to tickle our tummies and make us laugh. She found songs that we could all knew so we could sing along.
The day I remember well, I was still young enough to stand on the floorboard without my head reaching the ceiling. Since I think I remember being five-foot-eight in third grade, I must have been young. My brother was on one side of the backseat. I on the other, with our heads out the window enjoying the breeze. Daddy drove over a hill and my brother fell onto the seat, making things even funnier. My mouth was opened wide because I was laughing and a fly flew in my mouth. Things got unfunny immediately for me but I think my brother might still be laughing if he was still alive. I swallowed that fly and asked Daddy to pull over so I could throw up.
I’ve held a grudge against flies all these years, enjoying them only when my mother ran around the house with a swatter, hitting everything that didn’t move and missing the flies that did. Mostly, though, I keep my fear of flies to myself.
These days, I drink from a sippy cup, especially during fly season. This morning, I was on the patio with my laptop and my sippy cup, enjoying a writing project while I got my daily dose of sun and humidity, feeling perfectly safe from flies. Unfortunately, the lid on my cup gave me a false sense of security. Without looking, I took a big drink of water that included a fly.
I didn’t swallow this time. After spitting and cussing, and brushing my teeth and mouth and gargling peroxide I washed the cup in boiling water. Now, I’m hoping that fly died.