Mimes busted concern. Full breath in through the sliding glass door of the party and the crowded terrace and the pool and the underwater lights in the pool lighting water like jewels gone liquid and the whispers near the trees and the whiff of secrets being secretly burned in the far corner. All he can do is fill his lungs with the parameters of this particular life. Harold removes the Zig-Zag rolling papers from the bag. Harold hands back the weed.
A pair of small stone lions guard the path to the front door and its huge brass knocker, the world behind hinted at through the windows like a coming attraction: three friends about to have the time of their lives. Probably a mom had shown them this trick. Or another kid. One of those things passed down through generations, like whistling a blade of grass. Non-corpse corpses. For seventeen years they sucked on the roots underground. In darkness. Tasting only the effects of the sun until they responded to a mysterious call.
Arise, cicadas! Your day has come. And up they went. Their sloughed bodies look like the remnants of a cicada massacre, perhaps by death ray. But Max knows the opposite is true. He and Jerry witnessed one hatch just the other day.
Twitch and flex until the back splits open with scalpel-like precision and the body inside the body pushes up like a weight lifter hefting an intimate weight. And it was perfect. A perfect metaphor. Which Max recognized from the beginning, when the Rabbit drove through the swarm of cicadas in the early morning, and there was the machine-gun patter of yellow goo against the windshield, as if the boys were under attack.
Yeah, a metaphor. A metaphor for something. Not yet, at least. Mostly it just seems sad and lonely. Something about alienation, he supposes. Or just an epic leap of the imagination, like a stunt and Franz Kafka nails the landing.
But these cicadas. Seventeen years old. The whole transformation business. Well, that seems obvious. I am the cicada, Max thinks. Or the cicada is me. Spooled in by this electric buzz.
A shell staring up at his own reverb. Again and again and beyond his control. And Max, he feels the same but he also feels different in the sameness, his cored parts filled with the need for meaning, which is embarrassing to admit, let alone to say aloud. Like, why me? And why this? And for how long? Time is a fucked-up thing is the only sense he can make. For a moment, Max and the Max inside Max are on the same page in terms of nervousness and excitement.
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