Living in a hectic world in which many pride themselves on being so busy that there’ll be “no flies resting on them” has made for rather a tough row to hoe for Nashville fly, Freddie Diptera.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m busy, too,” said Freddie. "I've got maybe a few weeks on the planet at most, so I do my best to pack a lot in. But sometimes you just want to take a load off, you know?”
In his down-time, Freddie enjoys perching on the walls of rooms in which high-level business or political discussions are taking place. He admitted, though, that these rare quiet moments can get a bit lonely - leaving him craving human companionship. And according to Freddie, that's a craving that's not so easily satisfied.
"A lot of people tend to just brush me off," he explained, looking pained. "You know how it is. A sympathetic shoulder goes a long way.”
Freddie found such a shoulder on Mickey DeVito, a recovering heroin addict who years ago turned to Buddhism to calm his frenzied brain.
As Freddie tells it, at the time of their first encounter at an East Nashville meditation center, Mickey was sitting peacefully on the floor, eyes closed, exuding an appealing aura of calm. "I wasn't sure it would be appropriate," said Freddie, "but his shoulder just looked so inviting that I decided to take a chance and alight there."
The risk paid off. Mickey didn’t twitch or start or try to give Freddie the brush-off. He only continued sitting there, breathing – in, out; in, out; in, out.
“I felt noticed, but not judged,” said Freddie. “It was a nice feeling.”
On his part, too, Mickey had only good things to say about Freddie. “He was just doing his thing, just like I was, just like we all are,” said the down-to-earth addict-turned-Buddhist. "We were together in that moment, each experiencing it in our own way. A precious, beautiful moment, that will never happen again."
And while many humans tend to be dismissive of flies’ intelligence, unaware that the misunderstood insects have been shown to accumulate information and think before they act, Mickey himself harbors no such negative stereotypes.
Fondly regarding his fly friend Freddie, he remarked, "I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m guessing he didn’t shoot dope for twenty years and lose everyone and everything he ever loved. So really, between the two of us, who’s the dumb one here?”