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When we first met, you were a little beating black dot. Galloping across the rim of my cup like you were born to. 

I saw you eye my coffee cup. (I considered the possibility of your little body floating on top of it, swirling around my rosetta.) You stared at the brown skin of my espresso like you had a right to it. (Seriously...what did you think was going to happen––you were going to take a sip? Then again, there comes a time when we all must ask ourselves, “Are you a man or are you a mouse?” You’ve probably never read the book, but trust me, it teaches you a lot about sacrifice.)

I guess you thought the juice was worth the squeeze because you straddled the lip of my coffee cup like you had been doing it all your life; like every cup was just another cup. But this cup was different; you just didn’t know it yet. I did. 

It's always that one little misstep, though. That one little moment when you thought you had everything under control. That was your downfall. It’s the downfall of most. We call it hubris. There’s a book about that too; many of them. We write out of vanity; never believe otherwise––that's called well-intentioned delusion.

You started to wobble. Just a little at first. Like a dance. If you could've shouted something, I think it probably would’ve been “Oh shi…”. I’m pretty sure you would’ve been in the milk before you got out the T.


And then there you were. Treading water like a golden retriever. Your wings, heavy, brown. You, snow-angeling my latte. My heart tightened watching you stuck there; not moving your proud wings. It was uncomfortable, sad even; like seeing an old racehorse locked up in a stall.

I scooped you up with the tip of my spoon and set you down on the saucer. You were folded into a clump of brown foam. As the foam dried, so did you.

Is it weird that I miss you; that I miss a fly? No, I don’t really miss you. I just hurt knowing that you’re gone. Maybe it’s the fact that it was preventable. I think I’m also just sad that life stops. Makes me think of my mom and her breast cancer, and her tumor. (Yes, both. People get cards like that sometimes. But they say you gotta play what you're dealt. I don’t know who They are, but I don’t think I’d like to hang out with them.) 

I went back to writing this story about you after you died. I was writing it while you were dying. That was a bit sacrilegious, I know, but I needed a muse. And so I used you––that proud fly that challenged my single origin espresso like a bull. 

(Image: ©DJL Tagamolila Photography)

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