• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 11
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I remember holding carrots in June as strangers knocked on my door. When I answered the door, I brought the carrots with me, not because I wasn’t thinking, but to protect them from bugs, which were everywhere. I was in Florida at the time, and the strangers were going to a memorial. They wanted to know if they could partially block my driveway with their car. Of course, I said, and went back inside.

I wanted to be as far away from crowds as possible, but a part of me yearned to be at the memorial, close to people, honoring life. Just over a year later and crowds would become more dangerous than I could ever think.

At that time, when I held the carrots in June, it wasn’t because I didn’t like bugs—but I was allergic to so many of them, especially the ants. Not too long after I held the carrots, I went to a museum filled with bugs, and it was marvelous, rainbows of bugs everywhere. Before the museum, I went somewhere else, to a fertile place. Corn busted from the earth, in some areas as far as the eye could see, and the most gentle bugs crawled on my skin. I later learned the kind, light-footed insects were called sweat bees.

Sometimes I like to imagine the earth covered in food: carrots, sweet potatoes, onions growing underground—dollar weed, beauty berry, cattails, orange trees rolling outward and outward and outward. Maybe the earth would feel at peace, then. Maybe we would, too, the humans on the earth, celebrating the rainbows of insects crawling about.

We would still have strangers and memorials, but different. We would never be hungry.