Consider the cicada

I, too, long to lie down next to a tree and sleep. I, too, want to wait to emerge until 17 years later, and only then to scream a lot and make love once, then die in the grass.

(There are many ways to live a good life, and that one doesn’t sound too terrible.)

While it’s underground, does the cicada count how many times it freezes and how many times it thaws? Does it draw tick-marks on the wall of its dirt lair until it has enough, and then began digging out in a rush of adrenaline?

Does the cicada get senioritis in year 16, longing to be done with this embarrassing larval stage?

Does it remember what life was like 17 years ago when it buried itself? My neighborhood was very different then, and as a result we have few cicadas. How many millions of them went to sleep in 2004, dreaming of 2021, only to be fatally plowed under in 2015 when they dug the foundation for a new condominium?

Does 2021 look quite different to the cicada than it remembers? Does it look different than it expected? Does the cicada get nostalgic for the way things were when it was a wee larva?

Does it take a look around and wiggle its thorax to feel the sun and the breeze on its exoskeleton, basking in how short the time is?

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