March 16th, 2004


The swarm

duffymoon wrote a very good, nostalgia piece on the cicada . He meant no harm writing it, I’m certain. Why would he, a man I’ve never met, and who I’ve just begun to read on Live Journal, want to send me into shivering tremors?

First, I've never met a bug I liked. We just don't hit it off. I do worse with them than I do with small children. They make me shudder, rub my skin in that way I’ve seen on TV or from hysterical women, and they've been known to make me squeal and stomp my feet like Rhoda getting her pigtails pulled. And the worst, crunchiest, most oozy, ickified alien creatures on our planet are cicadas.

There’s this thing called irony, best described in the brilliant You Are So Cursed , and it is in full bloom here in the nation's capital, or at least it will be in the month of May. The cicadas are crawling out from their 17-year slumber to invade the city and that is ironic. Of all summers for me to have to live here, it had to be the season of the swarm.

It’s been many years since I last saw them. Our neighborhood was considered one of the hardest hit in the Chicago suburbs, and I guess by that they mean that every single surface that wasn’t moving for more than fifteen minutes would be covered in their filthy and loud mess. I was creeped out by how they would cover the tree bark all the way to the top, the way they would thicken the ground in a cover of slightly shifting movement, whether it was grass, sidewalk, or street. It was a trick to the eyes and an assault on the ears.

One night, I stayed over at my friend’s house too late and missed the train back home. There wasn’t another train until 6am. I had on nothing but hip-hugging bellbottoms that rode an inch past my bare feet. And a t-shirt. No shoes. Oh, and we had taken two hits of acid. Each.

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