Monday, June 06, 2005

On Digital Cameras

How many scarab beetles have watched the pyramids rise from the sand? How many beetles have pushed along balls of poop, their small feet flicking small bits of sand on the faceless dune?

How many scarab beetles knew they were worshiped and how many knew when they weren’t? How many were caught by small hands while running, flipped on their backs and had their legs plucked off left to sit in the sun seeping bug guts as a failed experiment?

How many desiccated carapaces have dried and become just dust in that vast expanse of sand and history?

And how many tourists have smashed down the odd beetle as it ran from rock to rock—tourists armed with digital cameras taking quick pics of the long dead Egyptian tombs; and when they return home they will show the family and the friends a few of the pictures and they will remember that trip and will think of it keenly for a few days, and ever less so as the days go on until it will be the big trip eight years ago or the last, best trip, the one where I got so sick and you got so burned but weren’t they so nice there… weren’t they so nice.

And there the beetle, rolling a ball of dung up the hill and down the hill and over the legs of other beetles and into the past and well on into the past.