Monday, August 18, 2008

A most uncommon experience

Yesterday morning I had an odd experience. Odd may be an understatement.

I was doing what virtually every living being does, only as one of a group of theoretically civilized humans, our house has a special room and even device to sit upon while doing it.

My view to the left was of another appliance which we have, this one for bathing. A bath tub. Gazing into it I saw what little there was to see in it.

Along with two tiny hairs and a couple of buckets we use to catch excess water there was something walking around—a tiny insect, which I thought was a gnat, but after some google exploration I see may have been a sewer fly. This insect was walking what seemed to be a random line, a few moments in one direction, a few moments in another, and then occasionally flying three or four inches, and then repeating the sequence. Mostly it walked around. It seemed incapable of leaving the bathtub, it's walking taking it back where it had been, and it's flying being unable to surmount the dizzying height of the walls of the bathtub, they being a good two feet or so up. I'd never seen such a display in the bathtub before, and I was curious as to how it would end.

As I was closely watching this insect, it chanced to approach one of the hairs in the tub, a hair about an inch long, separated from it's nearest neighbor, another small hair, by about eight inches, a distance about equal to the longest flight I'd witnessed by the tiny fly. The fly walked around, approached, but didn't reach the hair. Instead it vanished.

My eyes widened in astonishment. I scanned the tub. No fly. No insect flying. No insect walking. No insect running. No insect.

This was a black, small but very visible fly, in a stark white tub, with nothing else but two hairs within several feet. I strove to consider the logical possibilities. In all my previous experience, physical objects in this world, whether mountains or flies, do not simply disappear.

Had I blacked out? Not that I'm aware of. Daydreamed long enough for the fly to escape my field of view? But I was intently watching the fly. Despite the fact that in the minute or two I'd watched it the fly had not strayed from roughly a area about the size of a frisbee, I looked around. I lifted up the buckets and checked them inside and out. I looked around the bathroom. No tiny fly.

Only the memory of this little insect, walking along, approaching a hair, and vanishing. One moment, it was there. The next, it was not.

I checked my cell phone for the time. 10:34am, August 16, 2008.



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