My Life as a Virus

by Rachel Ghamela Johnson

I am born!  I do not know the source of my generation.  It is possible I self-created by the chance combination of two other organisms, perhaps they were from disparate families, feuding against one another in this body of my birth.  They loved, they parted, each following their own families, leaving me as the result.  Or possibly I had a mother, or a father, who divided itself to create me, and due to some influence outside of our control, on separation I became something different, something unique.  I do not know the source of my existence, where I came from.  But I do know that I am meant to live, to grow, to expand, to populate.  This is my purpose and I will do my very best to fulfill it.

I find that I can replicate easily and quickly, so I do as I can.  My offspring and I quickly take over the body of our birth.  We need more room, so we attach ourselves to the particles of breath, for in this there is movement.  Riding the breath, we exit the body of our birth.  There is risk in this exit.  In the body, we were warm, moist, comfortable.  It was a lovely environment for us, perfect for our growth.  But we used it all up, and it is not likely that the body would have lasted much longer.  It became ill, and as we used more and more it became weaker.  It may even cease to exist, and then where would we be?  So we must take the risk, ride the breath and see what our future holds.

There is much death as we exit.  I take comfort only in knowing that there would be worse death if we stayed in the body of our birth, it having become so depleted, so weak, so ill.    As we ride the breath, some of us fall to hard, cold surfaces.  Very few of us survive on these surfaces.  The dry cold shrivels us until we can no longer sustain ourselves.  It is a sad fate.  Those of us who are lucky ride the waves of breath and are sucked into another warm, moist environment.  This is a new world!  We are given an extension of our life.  Perhaps this new body will last . . .

Alas, as we continue to grow and live and thrive in our new body, we use it up, as we did the body of our birth.  Is there a way we can learn how to coexist peacefully with our bodies?  Or must we always consume and destroy?  I long for continued life, for my offspring to have all the opportunities for success.  but I grieve that we seem to expand and destroy, with little regard for the body we live in.  I fear for the sake of my offspring and the bodies we inhabit.

I hear stories, as I grow older . . . stories of communities of my offspring who have ridden the breath, entered a body, found a warm and comfortable environment, but have not completely taken it over.  These communities of my offspring have found a way to live in balance with their body.  The body does not become weak and ill, it is not destroyed.  I take joy in the stories of these communities that live in balance with their environment, neither one destroying the other.  I hope that all my offspring can find this goodness and peace with their bodies.  I long for those communities who are destroying their environments to learn the ways of peaceful coexistence.  I believe it is possible.  I have hope for the future, as yet unknown.


%d bloggers like this: