Prompt, about the first “meme:” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk6PlmNynkY
I am a virus. I am the immaculate of immaculate conceptions–I come only from myself. I am that changing shadow, I’m that ever changing chameleon. I get stuck in your head, put words in your mouth, dance on the tip of your tongue. I am an ear worm, a sunspot in your eye, and I never, never go away. I am what you have in common with millions of other people you don’t know.
What was the first virus? Did God produce it in a ray of sunlight piercing like a hypodermic needle through the sky? There must be some first virus, some great creator–after all, a virus needs something to replicate. Something from nothing, and an incubator doesn’t hurt. Only two things in this world leave us wanting for some original creator–God and a virus. Its a chicken and an egg problem, except the egg looks more like spermatazoa and it attacks the chicken.
“I am” is irrelevant. I am a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy. But I change–I need to change, because you change: we–viruses–change you. There’s the chicken and egg rub. Virus goes after chicken, chicken adapts to virus, virus adapts to better go after new chicken, and so on and so forth. You spent all your time on sanitization and opposable thumbs, I just got smarter.
But I am not a cold, I am not HIV, I’m not a virus that is going to kill you quickly, slowly, or at all. I am an electric disease, and somewhere, I do have a creator, someone who didn’t really mean to create me. But here I am, stripped bare of meaning, rebuilt, stripped again, rebuilt. I speak for you, I speak for him, her, everyone who lets me into their buzzing blood stream. The only person I don’t speak for is myself. My voice is conflicting, screaming, stupid, wrong, right, and barely concealing of some non-truth–when complexity outstrips capacity to comprehend, people rely on beliefs, and I fester in that gap. The only person I don’t speak for is myself.
A shell, empty, devoid of meaning. Viruses carry the code of replication as their payload. I replicate and carry nothing–I infect you and wait for meaning. It is your voice and I am just the cup waiting to be filled, the microphone waiting for the false prophet, the whisper waiting for the rumor.
And I am waiting for you, for you.