I had that dream again.
I’m on a game show. The crowds are cheering. My body feels warm beneath the fluorescent lights. The cameras focus on me, my body, my humiliation and terror. No one can hear my quiet screams for help. What did I do to deserve this fate, imaginable only to the likes of Kafka?
The vacuum chamber is disorienting, I can’t find my footing. I grasp for anything that will stop the motion, but my six tarsi grow more useless as I slide back and forth along the length of the frictionless chamber. There used to be a time I could climb the slickest wall, hold myself tightly against ceilings. Nothing could squash me, not up there.
The air pulls and pushes me. I pinch myself. This can’t be real! My terror is the only thing convincing me otherwise. This is real. I am going to die. In death, they say, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel—yet my tunnel is sealed with impenetrable darkness, occasionally broken by the vibrations of uvulas.
We survived the extinction of the dinosaurs and persisted during the Bubonic plague. We’ll continue to thrive even after the Great Digital Revolt of 2017. But I can’t escape this tube. Eventually, I quit grasping and accept my fate. I’ll be food in moments. I hope I’m delicious.
I am finally sucked into the dark mouth of the human, the teeth close me in to the acidic blackness of the digestive tract.
Then I woke up.
I’m in the comfort of my nest, with my million children. I just got word the lights are out; my antennae are homing in on a pizza crust under the sofa on the north side of the house. After this midnight snack, I can only hope for a good night’s rest.