I’m a Lovesick Cicada And So Are A Billion Of My Friends Crawling Around In Your Yard

Okay, so your lawn suddenly is alive with a carpet of squirming bugs, making more noise than a drunken Texas country band.

Relax. We’re just cicadas looking for a little loving.

 Keep in mind that we’ve been underground for 17 years and are horny. So we have oozed up through the dirt. It’s cicadapalooza time.

You’ve got to give us a break. Seventeen long ones stumbling around in the dark, sucking on tree roots, waiting for affection. We’ve got a lot of living to cram into the next six weeks. This is gonna be like spring break in Miami—times ten over.

 You know, the last time I was out in fresh air, Janet Jackson had a little wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl, and George W was the president. I suspect there have been a lot of changes up there. Did Facebook ever make it? Anything better than flip phones?

The first things you’ll see us do when emerging is to get a makeover. Attach ourselves to anything vertical and molt. That’s right, shuck off the dull, gray nymph skin. Then you’ll see our fire engine red eyes and new shiny black and orange shells. 

We’ll have wings too. Gonna be fun to unfold those and zoom around aimlessly. Buzzing from tree to tree. Making a hell of a racket.

I can guess you’ll be annoyed. “What’s that horrendous rumpus?” What? You can’t sleep? Poor baby. Think of us missing out on love for 17 years. I mean, you’ve got the Kama Sutra and Internet porn. We had nothing but dark tunnels.

Frankly, I cannot wait to mate. Down deep in our sunless abodes, I’ve had steamy dreams. Truthfully, there have been anxiety nightmares about performance issues—will my first and only shot at love with another 17-year first-timer go smoothly? You know the old saw about bad cicada sex.

So, this is how it works. After several weeks of droning about in your trees, I size up a sensual cicada flashing tempting red eyes at me. Then I make my move. One thing will lead to another and we’ll steal away for a romantic moment on a secluded leaf. Lightning bolts. Fireworks. Il flagrante delicto. It’ll be a genuine first and last time for both of us. I hope it’s not clumsy

Then that’s it. A brief afternoon dalliance and our ships will never pass in the night again. She’ll go off without me to lay her 400 eggs in some tree bark. That’s her end of story.

Me too. I mate once and my days are numbered. There’s no chance of hanging around to raise the 400 nymphs that come from my sweetheart’s eggs. After a while, my wings will droop and I’ll fall to earth. Finito. Then I’ll slime up your ground cover.

Eventually, our nymphs will hatch in the trees, drop down and dig into the earth. They’ll be out in 2038 to bug you again. By then, they may put a helicopter on Mars.

John Hewitt is a left coast writer with an absurdist bent. His last novel, Freezer Burn, recounted the partial resurrection of a musically inclined ferret. 

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