Published by In Her Place on December 1, 2011

Spanish Flies

by Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro

This is my second week in Sevilla and I start feeling almost at home. Here, the afternoon is still an afternoon at 8 pm. The night shows itself slowly and the shadow of the Columbus statue across the bay from Palos de la Frontera seems to apologize for the shameful tribute to a fraud discovery. I’m drinking the fifth or sixth Cruzcampo beer with the usual bread and olives, and a glass of white wine, all at the same time. Then Javi, the waiter which has become my friend, says: Maja, Seville has 81 wonders and you’re the first. I smile, but do not believe him. I blush and then ask to take a photograph with him in order to show it when I get back to my country. I want them to see what a tipazo is Javi, so handsome. He brings me ice cream at no charge every time he could. So sweet.

In Spain, the flies do not leave, even if you try to scare them, whipping up your hands. They are different from the ones in Puerto Rico, where, at the slightest provocation, the insect flutters its wings and flies away. In my Island they are kind of paranoid. Schizoids, certainly due to the heat of the Caribbean, or the Montserrat volcano ashes, or the haze from the Sahara desert which is the direct responsible for my asthma. The phenomenon is repeated in Andalusia and Punta Umbria. You move your fingers and nothing. You move hands and arms, and nothing. They don’t fly away. They stay on your piece of bruschetta, your tomato bathed in olive oil and you can almost swear they are laughing. There you are, trying to eat a piece of pork ham from Huelva, and your Iberian chorizo and they land in front of your nose. And if you swivel both hands, and rotate your arms with go away gestures, you will feel almost that they want to start playing with you.

You can literally touch a fly that lands on your travel package, or your cortadito coffee cup, or a basket of bread. You can even caressed them, and I am sure that with a little patience and tenacity, you could learn to tame one for a trick, even take one as a pet.

The other day, after a poetry reading in the bar 1900 at 23 hours, the Puerto Rican delegation —I’m part of it—began to complain of the men (we were all women, of course). Saying that there are just a few good ones, the really good guys are taken, or finally with bad habits; drinking, cocaine, gambling. There are also a few who borrowed money or whatever and never return anything back, those who go through life comparing yourself with old exes, or crying for old exes, or include you into a horror drama with the ex, those who beat you, or force you to play non-consensual anal sex, and the worse, blame you for being frigid.

Passed the digression, back to the discussion, I said that the males of our specie and the howling women who pursue them reminds me of the Seville phenomenon. We are like a bowl of olives, but they are like boricuas flies. Wild, elusive, undomesticated. Difficult to tame, very difficult to tame.

In the bar 1900, after the 23 hours, boricuas women were looking at Spanish flies. We study them, we revise their conduct, and we research their behavior. Some women began to see the flies as an advantage, not with disgust. And even another one called them appealing. The problem: it is very possible that not even one of these flies is male.

Read Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro’s bio »