the inquisitive one

The inquisitive one met a friend for lunch at their favorite restaurant. They were seated next to a big, light-filled window.

“It’s been too long!” said the inquisitive one. “What have you been up to?”

As the friend told the inquisitive one about her career and family life, a fly was buzzing nearby.

The fly kept on slamming itself into the window, over and over. This poor fly clearly wanted to get out into the sunshine! It was biologically unable to comprehend how to achieve its goal, but it had some seriously admirable persistence.

All while the friend was talking, the fly was buzzing and slamming, buzzing and slamming. In fact, the fly was behaving so rowdily and boisterously that the inquisitive one had trouble concentrating on what the friend was saying.

“So that’s what’s going on with me,” finished the friend. “What’s been going on with you?”

“Well,” explained the inquisitive one, hoping to have better success in talking than in listening, “I’ve been working on a very difficult project for a long time. Years! Decades! But no matter how hard I work, I don’t seem to be getting anywhere. It’s as if I’m beating my head against a wall, over and over. I have a specific goal in mind, but I can’t figure out how to get there. I’m to the point where I’m wondering, should I give up? Repeatedly banging one’s head against a wall isn’t very—”

“Hang on,” said the friend. “I can hardly concentrate on what you’re saying. That fly is bothering me. I feel so bad for it! Let me just—”

That was when, within the space of thirty seconds, the friend got up, cupped her hands around the fly, walked outside, and returned to her chair, sans fly.

The inquisitive one gaped at her.

“That was nice of you!” the inquisitive one exclaimed. “I did not know you had such a talent for capturing flies, quickly and gently!”

“Thanks for indulging me,” said the friend. “I like to help small creatures. So, what were you saying?”

“Um, . . . I thought I was confused about something,” said the inquisitive one. “But suddenly, I’m not. Do you feel like dessert?”