Staying out of step


So strange to emerge from my sleep, like a phoenix rising or the tunneling out of a Cicada after a long, luxurious, 17-year supper. What focus, what determination, to emerge and accomplish your goal, only to have to begin over and over again. It’s endless, why fight it? You can’t plan these things.

You see, it doesn’t matter what I write, as long as I write. Getting my thoughts out of my head onto virtual paper is a necessity, a diversion from the day-in/day-out of corporate nonsense.

It’s where we really live, really, in our own heads, not in this world. We are but burrowing insects, waiting for the right time to emerge, to strike, to get what we want. Yet most creative minds want to be out of step with the rest of the world. It pains us to be like everyone else, and there are so many like us. I am speaking in a non-linear fashion, but sometimes that is the only way to speak, in a tongue all your own. I have read much more obtuse prose, believe you me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that keeping out of step is more interesting, greater things happen between the lines.

The Cicadas have been on my mind, as their 17-year slumber party is over as they descend upon the midwest. Gone are the nights of sucking on sweet tree candy and dreaming of the sun. Now is the only chance in their little lives to make love and procreate. I think I would wake up for that too but that’s another story altogether that might blow the endoplasm of most single-celled organisms.

After the female Cicada is lured by the lilting song of the male, they mate, and she deposits her eggs in the slit of a twig. She deposits hundreds of eggs — and soon after she dies, as do the males. When the eggs hatch, the newborns drop to the ground, where they burrow and start another cycle. The Magicicada Cicada goes through a 13- or even a 17-year life cycle. These long cycles are so they can avoid predators such as the cicada killer wasp and the praying mantis. You see, these years are prime numbers, so while a Cicada with a 15-year life cycle could be preyed upon by a predator with a 3- or 5-year life cycle, the prime cycles allow them to stop the predators from falling into step. When did this begin? What year? How did they reset? What a wonderful story of survival of the fittest, what a creative way of staying ahead of the lemmings.

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