Today, in one of those profound philosophical moments when I was considering my own mortality in relation to the existence of some universal diety, a fly landed on my arm. For a moment I took hedonistic pleasure in the thing, watching its tiny insect legs strut across my skin and feeling that tickling sensation one gets when consuming the first bite of something willful and intent. A second later I was staring at this disgusting bug and wondering how I could relish in any moment of this odious delight.
The correlations are there though, the brief blissful instant followed by the angst and discontent of something repulsive, joy then guilt. Life has these circumstances, eh, when you have to consider the cost/benefit ratios? Perhaps it’s that post-meal dessert, the new flat screen, shoes, sports car et al, the midnight tryst – instant gratification un-sublimated – which leave us the most remorseful. Why do we do it then?
We’ve become a society of immediacy – Wikipedia, phone messaging, delivery services – stimulus/response to the nth degree. Pavlov is wagging his tongue and barking in his grave. I don’t have answers for this one, only questions. Do I always give in to impulse and conduct myself according to the pursuit of happiness, or shall I defer to some outdated moral code, which suggests delaying gratification is the path less traveled?
Meanwhile, the fly grazes on my dead flesh, as I smile, repulsed.