It was with great fanfare that the fly and I brought our quarrel to a close with the signing of a compact by which we would both be bound. The fly and I had both spent the winter buzzing around my apartment, me in search of something to do while on vacation, and he in search of something to land on for five seconds before leaving to find something else to land on for five seconds. I’d made 36 attempts on his life, and each attempt had been narrowly escaped by the fly, who, I suspect because of his four feet, had managed to stay at least one step ahead of me.
The fly meanwhile had not taken my assaults lightly, and had attempted to engage me, head on, whenever he encountered me, flying straight toward my head on microscopic kamikaze missions. He surely understood that he was out of season, out of backup, and out of time.
With neither of us able to gain an advantage on the other, we’d come to the bargaining table, which most would recognize as my kitchen table. I was seated in my normal chair, facing the window over the sink. The fly was seated on the edge of the table, then the corner of an old magazine,then the counter three feet from the table, and, finally, perched on top of the mail I’d brought in last night.
This is the agreement we reached.
An Agreement Between the Human and Fly in Apartment 307
This pact is the formal recognition of the truce between the human and the fly, both of whom intelligently enter into this contract the 20thday of December, 2018.
By agreeing to this compact, the human and the fly agree to respect each others’ domains. The fly is granted no access to the bedroom but shall have access to all other rooms. Outside of the bedroom, the fly has unfettered access to any space above six feet in the air. When both the human and the fly occupy the same room, they must maintain a respectful distance of a minimum of two feet apart at all times.
By agreeing to this compact, the fly agrees to the following:
No Friends – At no time shall the fly invite any other flies over to hang out.
No Sharing Meals –At no time should the fly consider a meal the human is dining on an invitation to share in dinner. The fly shall take all meals alone.
No TV – The lifelike splendor with which the 4K television renders natural settings shall be no excuse for the fly stopping to take in its wonders, obscuring the image for its human spectators.
Quiet Time –After 8 PM, the fly shall be respectful of the human’s need for silence and will avoid making noise by flying between the blinds and the window and any other activities that could create a sonic annoyance.
By agreeing to this compact, the human agrees to the following:
No Screaming – At no time will the humans resume his calls for the death of the fly by screaming “DIE!WHY WON’T YOU DIE?” or any variation thereof.
No Coercion – At no time will the human resume his attempts to create large gusts of wind to force the fly toward an open door.
No Taunting – The human will avoid smugly showing off his ability to eat whatever he wants and his ability to move throughout and in and out of the apartment at will,especially issuing statements like “Sure, I can’t fly, but I can open a door whenever I want, which is a really great trade-off when you think about it.”
No Killing – At no time will the human make an attempt on the fly’s life, either directly or indirectly, through swatting, trapping, or attempting to belittle the fly until it takes its own life.
If at any time the fly ventures out the door and is trapped outside, the contract becomes void and the fly loses all privileges detailed above.
The presence of this agreement between the human and the fly shall not be construed to represent a personal relationship between the fly and human. Friendship is strictly forbidden, even in such a case where the fly and the human might happen into a situation where each learns a valuable life lesson from the other and begins to empathize with the other.
Update: Fewer than 24 hours after the agreement was completed, the fly has already violated the terms of the truce by buzzing the human in the kitchen when he was preparing breakfast.