The Common Coneheaded Katydid

by Mary J Anna

I walked back to my car in the dark. The dirt and gravel of the lot interrupts my compulsory movement. I was nearing my safety, my extended home. I began to look around with expectation instead of down, instead of reassuring each footstep with churning thoughts kept to myself, kept for this world I’ve withheld today peacefully.

The night was clear and warm, in this comforting yearlong season of heat in Houston. When I spotted my deep blue car I noticed a scar type mark. It was a katydid, waiting for his meal under the halogen incandescence. It was on the roof, an albino looking off-white, just like one I saw the other day.

It subsists here well symbolized, very alone amidst a swarm of lower rung pests in the luminous bustle above, without a single friend, abandoned by family long ago. Its species is herbivorous but this one feasts by cracking carnage in this urban environment, some industriously shared life tonight. Blank and deeply lacking, it has no attitude besides instinct. Unable to think outside of need, its hunger drives it to some experiential state of anticipation.

Maybe life will get better for you, Katydid. Maybe after dinner you’ll have sex and all your work will be done. Maybe there is some satisfaction for you in this corporeal monotony. I wonder do you wait for your foes, always fearing and fleeing? Or maybe you wait without consideration. Maybe you don’t always anticipate your annihilation. Maybe that is what you flee. But, I think you just expect to live, though, perpetually protecting yourself to some extent. Is there no relief, then? Is there no rest from impending doom? Is there no satisfaction, even for one moment during your necessary consumptions?

So you, in this manner, cruelly continue, in your place on top of my car, this vehicle of potential transcendence for us both. Some moments before I imagine you crawled slowly to your place, slow enough that I could have heard the cracking of every twig-like joint, each repetitious socket filled with precious miniature marrow. I imagine your marrow is pale yellow. Pale like you, the albino ghastly reaper who refuses to move. Yet, I wish you could make it through the ride that I would take you on, back to my place. You could grace my home with your luck and fortune. I know though, that you will not adjust or weather such a ride.

I know.

Go ahead, then, katydid; analyze every part of me. I peer closely and rotate for your viewing pleasure. I am sure to stay closer than you’d prefer, some exordium, this stare off that we initiate. That you really initiated. You, with your wide orange eyes, yes, you. You who did not ask to enter my world, you, who just did, because you could…

Holy. And Sacred.

That is how I see you, when I am this close and it is dark and within this current we stand still. I suppose this is just as you perceive me, too. This we somehow intimate with our eyes, with our silence and our happenstance. Will neither of us move then? (Thank you.) I am grateful for this moment and now I feel these pregnant blessings will abound.

So, tell me, then, what does it mean that you lack a posterior limb? What does that mean, Katydid? I think it’s a good thing you’ll never be a grasshopper with its enormous lifetime leaps. Good thing you’ll only flutter downward with your large wings, like a flustered moth or a floundering Zeppelin. I expect your explosion. If I were you I would want to be taken by the flames. Good thing you’ll never expect to climb quickly. Good thing, you… left.

You seem loud but made no noises and I am annoyed but you are gone. I drive away, now, and I wonder, what is your full name?

You do seem Delicate and Slender, Striped/Dusky Face. A Gladiator? Black-sided, Texas? Superb, somehow Seaside and aggravatingly Agile…

How puissantly you did appear… Bush and Slightly Musical, Sword-bearing, Handsome, and certainly like the False Robust.

But these are not you. I want to call you one of these or any, but they will never be you. I do know now, I have to learn and I do... I know not to fool myself and I have learned the truth about you, not that you ever hid yourself. And so, I must then call you truthfully, then, as they, too, call you: common coneheaded.


Author's Note: some of my older stuff- seems strange and unappealing but others have valued it, so, here it is. subject also fantasy- but not the sci-fi kind, the lie to yourself kind (and lost love- always it seems! and introspection a common thread)

Posted on 07/08/2006
Copyright © 2023 Mary J Anna

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