And the swarm descended

I had this thought as I walked on the National Mall today:

There’s something alike in the methods and the madness of the tourists and the periodical cicadas.

Consider it: both emerge at the outset of summer, although the cicadas have the decency to stay away sixteen years out of every seventeen.

It appears that they share a survival strategy: namely, being too numerous to eliminate. Both amble in packs across streets slowly and against the light, ambling awkwardly, veering into traffic, apparently daring cars and bikes and other pedestrians to collide with them. They find safety in numbers. And that’s just the cicadas!

But there’s something optimistic about both of them. Both look to the future. The cicadas awaken to mate furiously and create enough larva to emerge once again next time. They won’t live to see it.

Meanwhile the tourists wander around with their phones out taking selfies with every statue and building and every member of their group so that they will have proof that they were here, long after their footprints on the mall dissipate in the rain under the cicada husks.

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