Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Up (1)

Do you know what a Cordyceps is? I didn’t either until 20 minutes ago.
It’s a family of thousands of different types of fungus, grows all
around the word in various rainforests and jungles. The awful thing
about them is they’re parasitic, they grow on other animals. An ant
happens to run into some spores, and then it starts to colonize his
insides, starting with his brain. At some point, the ant starts to
act visibly ill; standing in place and shivering, or walking in
circles. If a fellow colony member sees him in this condition, he
will be dragged to the border of the colony and exiled.

Then, when it’s almost over, the ant weakly climbs as high as he can
up the vines, and locks his body on tight. Finally, he dies, and the
fungus emerges from the back of his head, bursting forth like a long
and foul fruit. After a short time, the little stalk spews forth its
own spores, leaving the mummified and broken ant clinging to the
stalk, his eye cavities filled with drying fungus.

I mention this because last night, when I was up on the roof of my
apartment complex, I found my brother’s body. He’s been back from 18
months on duty in the Philippines for less than three days. This was
the first I’d seen him. My parents called me up the day before
yesterday to tell me that he was on his way up. They told me he’d
stayed in his room since he got home, and then suddenly got up and
announced he was on his way to see me. They thought he was drunk,
I’d I thought he’d never made it.

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