I’m being held hostage by fruit flies. Yes, those .11 inch dots of fluttering insubstantiality are more powerful than I had imagined.
I woke this morning planning to attend my monthly book group. It’s a lovely excuse to hang out with friends for a few hours, talking about books and everything tangentially related to books. It gets me reading things I don’t normally read and gives me new insight into how differently each one of us experiences what’s printed on the page.
Then I saw the fruit flies. I’d picked about 8 to 10 gallons of tomatoes last night, planning to do the last of our tomato-related canning this weekend. But the fruit flies discovered them first. They seem to emerge from nowhere, reproduce in seconds, and are reluctant to leave. If you immediately eliminate the source of their initial food source, perhaps the banana that’s quietly going bad in the fruit bowl without your notice, they depart as quickly as they appeared,. No tiny corpses left behind, nothing. But if you don’t eliminate that initial food source right away, they take over. One overlooked nasty banana inspires a legion of fruit flies. Oh sure, you disposed of it as soon as you could but now it’s too late. Those tiny flocks are plotting to take over.You’ll find them trapped in the fridge, clinging with chilled resoluteness to your ketchup bottle till the door opens and they’re freed back into the kitchen’s warmth. You’ll notice them lift with annoyance from the trash can each time you lift the lid. They hover on the edge of the morning’s glass of orange juice and the evening’s glass of wine as if begging for another rotting banana.
I knew this was their battle plan when I saw how many had appeared on the buckets brimming with tomatoes. Apparently one tomato, somewhere in those stacks, is split open. If I was gone all day, as planned, it might be all over. So, my arm twisted by Drosophiloidea, I decided to stay home from book group. I’d skin those tomatoes in no time and still make it to help out at the afternoon Fair Trade event.
But then, being me, I thought maybe I’d surprise my family by making apple pie. We have nearly three bushels waiting to turn into applesauce. I rolled out the dough thinking happily that I no longer cry when doing so (my first Thanksgiving away from home was a sobfest due to pie crust failure). But, culinary experimenter that I am, I had to mess up somehow. Take it from me. Don’t use ground flax instead of flour when rolling out pie crust. The resulting crust looks like the victim of pie pox.
And then, because I was already home, I didn’t bother to shower and dress as early as I would have to drive the requisite hour to arrive at book group. Instead I worked in the kitchen in my jammies. Which explains why the UPS guy showed up at the exact same time I was at the door waiting for the dogs to come in. I’m a lot faster than I’d suspected. Turns out I can dash outside, grab three dogs, and dash inside within the time frame it takes for a driver to back his truck in our driveway. If he saw anything in his rearview mirror, I’m sure there’s counseling available.
Now it’s not quite noon and I’m done. I have time to go for a lovely walk on this beautiful day. The leaves are rich tones of burgundy, gold, rust, and red. The light this time of year casts cathedral rays through the trees, making everything ordinary look as if it were painted by the Dutch Masters. Thank you fruit flies. I walk in your honor. Perhaps you’ll do me the favor of moving out by the time I get back.