Wednesday, May 12, 2004


When I lived in Washington D.C. I remember an impressive cicada infestation. But it must not have been from Brood X. This, the mother of all cicada broods, is just now emerging on the East coast, all hot and bothered and looking for love (and after finding it, tragedy -- ain't that always the way?):
Shortly after mating, the male usually keels over and dies. The female buzzes off to excavate nests in a young twig for her 600 or so eggs. Once her egg supply is exhausted, the female dies.
Since Brood X last emerged in 1987, the timing is off for me. I left D.C. in 1980.

Childhood narrative is often confusing. Last year my eldest came home from kindergarten and, in a horror-struck tone of voice, proceeded to explain what she had learned on the bus about how sex worked. A fog descended on me, reminiscent of being called on in law school, as I frantically tried to think of how to respond. Her voice became unintelligible to me as she prattled on until finally, through the fog, these welcome words penetrated: "and then the girl bites the boy's head off!"

Saved (for now) by the wonders of bug love.


Post a Comment