So the question, as always it might seem, is “What To Do?”
It’s capitalised because it’s a bit of a theme in this life of mine. What should I do? The overall structure of society heavily suggests that I need to be one of the hive, dutifully buzzing my way around and protecting the queen. Getting up in the morning and going away all day, to spend time with people I don’t love (or even like sometimes), to use my time and energy making money for someone else, just so that I can have “security” doesn’t appeal to me.
For the record, we have absolutely NO security. We’re so broke I actually had to borrow some of the letters to make this very sentence compl
Whoops. Ran out. Again.
Honey. It makes the world go round, or at the very least it makes all the Worker Bees get up in the morning and buzz off to the hive, spending their commute listening to ads for products they should spend their hard-buzzed honey on. All the while, the days pass and the years pass and none of them seem to notice that they’re not actually going to be queen someday, that there is only one queen and she’s always been queen and goddamit SHE’S never buzzing all goddam day!
By the time they notice… their wings are frayed and the honey isn’t as sweet, though there is a bit more of it than there used to be. Their little bees are buzzing in their own directions now and, heartbreakingly often, it’s usually along the same paths. The little bees may not have the best idea of who gave them these “opportunities” nor do they really notice if the honey is sweeter or more prevalent. They usually only notice when there’s more buzzing at home instead of in a sealed metal box, inching its way toward oblivion.
I saw all of this happening to me, and it bothered the shit out of me. I was watching it happen though and, like so many other bees before and with me, I let it happen because everybody else was doing it. There was SOME kind of reward at the end, Special Honey, I was sure of it. If I just kept plugging away, and was occasionally brilliantly buzztastic, then I’d get that reward. The queen would notice and everything would change.
But nothing changed. The days changed, the years changed, even the hives changed, but the situation didn’t, and it was never going to.
So I quit buzzing.
Quit the hive, quit the Death March, quit the Honey Dance and quit buzzing around solely for some nameless, faceless giant royal sloth, who was rolling around in my hard work and did nothing for me other than treat me for exactly what I was: Yet another member of The Hive.
It was hard for a while. There are lots of flowers out there, but if you’re a bee on your own they’re harder to find and even harder to pollinate. After a while, you make some other Solo Bee friends and you help each other out, and that’s excellent.
But you still long for more. Somehow, you still yearn for flowers that are a different colour, growing in a different place. If you’re me, only the flowers that grow in the countryside will do, for these city flowers are tainted by the daily buzzings of others. They’re too close to The Hive for my liking.
Also, there is far less honey when you are your own hive. The little bees still don’t really care, but they’re getting older and they’re starting notice. Wifebee wears our lack of honey like a pair of wings made of lead. She doesn’t fly as much these days.
The days pass, as they do, and we make more little bees. They’re wonderful and bee-autiful, and they fill our hearts with the sweetest of honey, Lovehoney.
The Hive asserts its presence though. See, even though I’m no longer buzzing for the queen, she still exacts her toll. My bit of the honeycomb, my spot in the meadow, my most-frequented flowers, they all have a cost. If I’m not buzzing for her, that cost is harder to pay.
The Queen accepts no such thing as Lovehoney.
Like so many bees before me, I know I’m special. Somehow my wings are lighter, my stripes brighter, and I struggle to express the feeling inside that I am meant for so much more than just this Hive Life we’re all leading. It used to be that when I heard other bees saying such things, I would scoff and say something like, “Prove it then! Go! Fly! Stop telling us, SHOW us!”
Stingable as that behaviour was, I had a point.
It’s time I flew. It’s time I stopped telling and started showing.