I Remember Ezra and the Flies

Pierrino Mascarino

The old lady sat out on her bare wood porch up in Montecito Heights of Los Angeles, rocking in an ancient wood rocker, the rocker runners squeaking on the floor boards, back and forth, squawk and squeak. She held a Styrofoam coffee cup in one very wrinkly hand with long yellowed nails, and was sucking thoughtfully on a snuff lump that protruded in her lower lip.

"Started off,” she began, “didn’t have nuthin’, me and Ezra, rest in peace, just flies and coyotes. And I hated both of them."

Squawk, squeak.

“But we had noble big flies and I loved my Ezra, may perpetual light shine upon his beautiful soul. All my life been around flies, like most folks have, flies is everywhere people is. But smart Ezra, my former husband, rest in peace, I’m a widow woman now and I learned: there’s a world of different kinds wherever you go, people and flies. Here in Montecito Heights, people’s shallow and cruel, hate each other. This is unfriendliest place I ever lived."

A large green bottle fly perched, moving in little jerks, on the porch's gray banister.

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