If you live in a region of the world with cicadas, you are likely intimately familiar with the sights and sounds of these weird and wonderful tree bugs. If you live in a region of the eastern United States that experiences periodical cicada broods on 13 and 17 year cycles, you have likely had a more… vivid experience of these loud, large, and randy insects.
I have the most intense memories of the last time we saw Brood X, which emerges from the ground every 17 years for a month-or-so orgy of molting, eating, screwing, egg-laying, and dying.
They're baaaaack… this May. Coming to a deafening nightmare near you.
This piece on NSFWCORP (from 2013), by their sex and science editor, Leigh Cowart, is a first-rate Lovecraftian tale of the horrible-beauty of a Brood X member emerging from the ground after his long slumbers.
Ceaseless climbing consumed me, so long did I toil that my want of stopping and fearful wonder of my destination quieted to nothingness. I climbed and I climbed and I climbed until one day, a day like any other climbing day, the dirt above me gave way to a foreign gas so thin that I sharply toppled from my tunneling pose onto the unspeakable. The end of dirt. Crossing over to the new world was as easy as it was startling, new sensations rippling across the tan of my body as I tumbled across a mat of roiling brown.
The dirt moved beneath me and I, recoiling at yet another blasphemy of nature, felt the turmoil of bodies and dared turn my gaze below, for I was being swept across a sea of my brethren! Joy upon recognition filled my oppressively tight fifth instar exoskeleton, my sensitive ends registering the presence of the brood. There are other broods, of course, of which the prophecies do tell, but they sleep on different cycles, entering and exiting the dirt in moments not of my brothers and sisters. I will never see them; of this I know. But they will be coming. Reveling in the comradery of belonging after so many years below, my bursting happiness itched further still, my thick abdomen becoming ever more distracting.
Read the rest.