Having grown up in the LBC, a place plagued by earthquakes, wildfires, and lackadaisical attitudes, but NOT cicadas, I was thoroughly shocked and disgusted when I learned about the billions and perhaps trillions of cicadas that are about to emerge from a 17 year slumber and unleash their hideousness upon us. Over the last couple of months I’ve racked up hours of nightmare-inducing stories from friends who remember the last emergence of Brood II in 1996: empty cicada shells crunching under foot, 5 cm bugs flying around wildly only to smack right into your head or land on you while en route to the nearest vertical surface that will likely already be covered with the stupid creatures. Not to mention the stench of the rotting cicada corpses. The HORROR. I mean, what is this situation?!?!?! I had no idea this was even a thing until a month ago! My previous experience with cicadas has been relegated to a few regular buzzy ones heard every summer when outside the city, or as noises that annoy characters in Murakami novels (he descirbes them as “whirring,” “buzzing,” “screaming,” or “crying”). I mean, the worst bug situation in Southern California is the occasional water bug (what we call those giant cockroaches) or the dumb little June bugs that live for a few days and die by flying into pools. Both are pretty much just downright fucking adorable when compared to nasty, awful CICADAS.
However, in the last few weeks I have realized that what I was interpreting as fear and disgust — an attraction akin to anticipating a car crash — has slowly morphed into an emotion that is more interesting, more compelling. Something that I would even call enthusiasm. It might have been the cicada tracking map managed by my favorite WNYC show, Radiolab, or the impressiveness of the sheer quantity of the bugs (did you know that 30 billion cicadas nose to nose will stretch to the moon and back?), but perhaps what really makes my heart swell with enthusiasm is that this whole cicada thing is special. They are MAGICicadas after all and they are out for a good time. Also, I sort of love that this is just one more item on the list of disasters/strikes/blackouts/attacks/plagues/storms that make living in New York such a beautiful trial. You have to WANT to live here, and actually work at it. Granted, we in the city will experience fewer cicadas than the suburbs, but still, I am eagerly anticipating this outbreak. I am not kidding. I will go to New Jersey to visit the epicenter of this cicada explosion and I will marvel at the grandeur of nature. ALSO, cicadas gave me the gift of seeing this look on PA Melissa’s face as we faced/embraced our fears and went looking for those little nymph motherfuckers while in Jersey a couple of weeks ago:
We laughed until we cried for about an hour during our cicada search. Thank you to the Gunhouses for letting us dig for them! And PLEASE, check out the best. cicada. vines. you’ve. ever. seen. (watch with the sound on to hear my creepiness).
THE CICADAS….. THEY’RE COMING…..
And I CANNOT WAIT!