“I’ll be great one day,” the fly said. “I will do extraordinary things, and everyone will remember me.”
“Actually,” the rock said, “you will die in a couple of weeks, and no one will remember you.”
“What about that boy today who swatted at me? He saw me and he tried to whack me with his hand. I did that. I am part of his life now. Of course he’ll remember me,” the fly said. He spat onto his legs and rubbed them together.
“You stupid fly,” the rock said. “You are one sunrise among thousands. Millions. I am older than the ground. I have existed for longer than the sun; for longer than these trees, than this air.”
The fly paused rubbing his legs. “Tell me then, wise, ancient rock, of all the extraordinary things you have done.” He spat on his legs and rubbed them together again.
The air hung softly around them.
“What was that?” asked the fly. He felt smug now. He felt like he was winning. “You have done nothing?”
“Nothing?” the rock countered. “I am here. I am in this world. I have seen and stayed. Everything you cannot see – and never will – I have seen.”
Now the fly was quiet. His legs pressed still to the rock.
“There used to be a flower right here,” the rock said.
“It died in the cold. Afterwards, I liked to think I only had weeks to live.”
“I’ve heard of it,” the fly said. He wanted to sound wise and knew he never would be. “Love,” he said, steadily and cautiously.
“That’s what you don’t forget,” the rock said.