Looking at a busy bee, toiling hard and fast… as fast as my clock turns during a day of doing nothing. A day wasted, I’m first inclined to say. But then I wonder what makes a day not wasted, fruitful to say.


I assume the bee goes back to the hive after a hard day’s work, with a fatigue that gives a sense of having done enough for the day, enough to enjoy the tiredness that merits rest… the relaxing evening, the weekend bliss, the vacation by the sea. It would seem that the purpose of hard work is simply to take the guilt away from idleness.


Perhaps, between toiling and resting, there is that moment of pure satisfaction: that instant when one looks at the honeycomb in its entirety and say “Look at the good work I’ve produced today! This is the fruit of my hard work and dedication”.


So, there seems to be a satisfaction in externalising one’s energy and creating something that is now independent, almost indifferent to the creator, taking a life of its own. Whether it is a vegetable you grew, a sum you tallied, an opinion you published or a patient you cured, they all diverge away from you the moment you are finished with them. Yet one keeps calling them their own, even as they evanesce more and more into the rest of the world. It seems that along with the product, one also fabricates the idea that there is something of our own out there, bearing our signature.


Maybe the hamster actually has a better philosophy than the bee. It knows it is trapped yet it never experienced the dread of starvation. What to do then, what to strive for? Run on a wheel – the perfect ideology gifted to its species: as long as there is movement, there always remains the enigma that maybe with the next determined step, the next energetic thrust, the goal will be reached and the Dream fulfilled.


One eventually gets tired, deserving of rest, while also knowing that the next day they can wake up and reach for the dream once again, almost sadistically hoping that it will not materialise: “I know that it won’t reach perfection, that there is no final reward. Maybe, if I please my audience, they can bestow upon me a nicer wheel, one that makes me an inspiration to other hamsters. That will show them, that the Dream does come true. You know, the Dream!”.


On second thought, this philosophy does seems a bit too circular for my mind to ingest, let alone digest.


Thus far I’m none the wiser. I still don’t know – while I have food on my plate – what to do with my time as it keeps turning forwards and feeding my angst. Suddenly I feel rather apprehensive about something: the thought that everybody else could suddenly start feeling the same way I do.


What if they all decided that their hard work does not pay off, except for bestowing a justified sleep? Then the hives would run dry of honey rather quickly and there would be no more fodder in the cage boxes. That miserable moment would force us to witness the dreaded absence of both the security of all necessities, and the privilege of dwelling on the significance of work. Work would become real and people become industrious again in order to take from each other what is suddenly scarce. They would gnaw and maul and mangle each other, until eventually they get too exhausted and declare a winner who will get to manage that industriousness for the production of peace and prosperity. They would also choose what to colour the new hamster wheels, and maybe build combs made from pentagons or squares this time round.


I withdraw from my thought, and suddenly hear the  productive buzzing that persists. I hear the squeaking of a wheel in the distance too. This symphony placates me. And I see myself for what I am, a mosquito. I imbibe from the comb and occasionally syphon out from the warm-blooded – for them I must be a parasite.


My contrasting parasitic nature will remind them each day of the virtues inherent in their labour, and the purposefulness of their dream. I won’t argue with them, they have their judgement of me just as I have already passed mine of them. They are my material benefactors, but my existential agitators. I am their material parasite, but existential supporter. We exist.


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