On Colony Collapse Disorder In The Home
July 8, 2010 in families
I’ve noticed the death of the bees, myself. My porches always seem to be the temples of bee sacrifice. I’ll find one tiny carcass, dead, a captured worker from another hive, eviscerated on my doorstep with the tiniest knife you’ve ever seen (exquisitely carved of a stinger), an offering to the Pollen God. May the harvest be good this season! Bzzzz!
My brother, Judge McRicketts-McGee (May-He-Be-Having-A-Nice-Life), upon finding one in on my porch in Los Angeles, said it was like something Don Delillo would write. DeLeelo, he used to say, to try to annoy me. He used to say “David Boowie,” too. He probably still would say that, if he would say anything to me.
“No, it isn’t,” I said, in knee-jerk disagreement with my older brother.
“Yes, it is,” he said.
I thought about it. The circling and narrowing in on the minuscule, then refocusing out on the macrocosm. Giving the names for all the little parts of the bee. Head, thorax, abdomen. Finding jewels in the compound eyes. Why is the bee there? We may never know. All of the bees, everywhere, dying. Tiny tragedies, all of them. Snap back to people talking in crystallized language trapped in jellied time.
My own colony of origin has collapsed. The scientists say the bees don’t die in the hive. They all flee their home and are sickly somewhere else. We’ve probably done it in bee-time, too. My brother left eighteen years ago, then I left three years later, quickly followed by my mother. My father stays in the hive, rattling around by himself, inebriated and quite strange. My brother gets angrier and darker inside the older he gets. My mother gets higher maintenance and detaches further from reality.
I try to hold on. No–I do, I do hold on. I take my pills, don’t use anything, exercise, keep talking about it, and try hard as hell to keep a sense of humor. Basically, I do the opposite of what my family does. I’m a slightly sick bee, but I know that I’m sick. I try to keep myself as well as I can.
Then there’s my own colony. I have my friends, but I’ve yet to start my own family. It’s partly opportunity, but it’s partly fear. I fear I’ll become what I hate: the people I’m related to. I know I’m attracted to people dangerous for me. I fear I’ll go cray-cray again when someone smaller than me is depending on me. So. Much. Fear.
I think it’s too late for the McRicketts-McGees. The family has gone nuclear. I don’t think it’s too late for me. Not unless I want it to be.