Covid Isolation, prose written by Victor Fein at
Tobias Roth

Covid Isolation

Covid Isolation

written by: Victor Fein


Today a fly entered the house through an open door. Usually, my instinct is to swat any fly near me, but this felt different. I was alone, no dog or cat, bird, or fish, just me. My wife had been away for a while. I do have house plants, but it alarms me when I find myself talking to them.

I caught the fly by putting a clear plastic carry-out container over it while it walked on a window, lamenting its lost outdoor freedom. Carefully,
I slid a piece of paper under the container trapping the fly inside. A few holes in the top allowed it to breathe while it quarantined.

A few days later I allowed it freely to participate in my home life.
There was only one fly so breeding masses of them was unlikely. Being confined to the house much more than usual, it was good to have a friend.

Feeling sorry for it, I trapped it again, took it in the bathroom and put the container up to the mirror. It soon began walking around, finding great joy with its new found mate. They spent a good amount of time on top of one another.

Time passed. The fly that I now refer to as Bugs began to feel safe around me. It often landed and casually walked around tickling the hairs on my arm while we watched a Netflix documentary about insects taking over the world.

Even though it had been isolated from the outside world now for many days, I object when it lands on my sandwich and looks up at me as if to ask if the bread is organic.

I’m sorry to say today while leaving the house to pick up my wife from the airport, Bugs left me. I was so pleased to have my wife back. That made it easier to accept my friend abandoning me. I shared some stories with my wife about my relationship with Bugs. She was not jealous.

The next morning while peering out the large glass window near the kitchen table, I noticed a fly on the outside looking in. I went close to the window to see if perhaps it was Bugs. I was not sure until he winked at me.

Without words I knew he returned to remind me of those around the world who are alone during this time without even a fly as a companion.

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