Except for some missing legs - which lay below him - he is a perfectly preserved specimen of gossamer wings against gauzy fabric. If I look closely, I can see his three, distinct body parts. His thorax holds his one remaining leg; his head futively faces forward.
Though I will spend half my day cleaning fingerprints from light switches, I can't bring myself to remove him. It's not altruism. I have killed bugs before (though always with a twinge of guilt). In fact, my reason for leaving the fly is pure selfishness. By cavalierly canceling his existence and leaving nothing in his place would be too cutting a reminder of how fleeting This all is. We live, we get stuck, we struggle, we die.
But I am not a fly. I am a wife, mother, sister, friend. I live and in living I create words and pictures and memories. I get stuck and in getting stuck I receive help and hope and healing. I struggle and in struggling I get stronger. And because of this living and getting stuck and struggling something will remain when I die.
I am ready to let my fly go. I gently tilt the shades to the side, allowing him to finally fall freely on to my desk. There I am able to get a closer look at him. His body is a green and blue metallic iridescence, his wings silvery strands. He is beautiful. As I gently place him into a tissue to bring him outside, back to the dust, I let him know that something of him will remain with me long after he is gone.