We sat under the bug zapper for what we knew would be the last time. Cicadas hummed the summer sun’s departure all around the foreclosed lot. Inside, the 1960’s tank of a fridge rattled in concordance. The world wanted to either give us tinnitus or lull us to one final sleep.
“You know, I used to think that was the noise that heat made,” Jim broke the steady buzz.
I don’t know what I expected to break the silence, one of us cursing the bank or dad for his gambling, maybe for him to show me an upside calculator with the number 58008 on it or to crack another PBR and pour it out on the ground for both the past and the future.
“The bug zapper?”
“The cicadas. They only make noise when it’s hot, and whenever you get near them it sounds farther off cuz the ones near you get quiet.”
“They think you’re going to eat them.”
“I thought it was like, I don’t know, like how heat makes you see things that ain’t there.”
He nodded. There are worse beliefs to maintain.
A Sheriff SUV slowly drove by. The driver nodded. We nodded.
he cicadas didn’t care if there was glass or boards in the windows. They just wanted to eat and mate. When the weeds grew long they’d amp up their catcalls, wings slapping together in fits that, were the gestures made by a human, might seem desperate.