Most of the time being a human is a pretty sweet gig. We are, after all, the crown of creation, the big-domed critter that has pretty much taken over the planet. We go where we want, do what we want, and the rest of the animal kingdom pretty much stays away, or else stooges around awaiting our pleasure and largesse. We are the inventors of such useful complexities as the cronut, the X-box and the Doctrine of the Trinity. I could go on, but why brag?
While we are pretty nifty and plenipotent, we are not quite omnipotent, as had been brought home to me in recent days. We are colonial organisms–a well organized gang of cells with shared genetic material. But even within our own skins, we comprise a minority government–outnumbered by trillions of bacterial cells of different breeds, and little bitty fungi, and even bittier viruses. From their perspective, our bodies are no different than the hut that Neolithic mammoth hunters built out of tusks and skins. They have no appreciation for our finer qualities.
Usually we can ignore these rival gangs. They squabble amongst themselves and rarely get much done. The trouble only comes when one faction gains dominance and goes forth and multiplies to the extent that it can take on the management. Such a rebellion has brewed within me all week and whole provinces of my body are now under insurgent control. Central Command may ordain that “Today I shall construct a poem of charming observations and mild pathos.” But the rebel commander countermands, saying, “No. Today you shall make phlegm.”
It is only a matter of time before I oust the upstart regime. But until then, I manufacture rival species under the lash of a cruel overlord, who like a lion surveying the beauties of the savannah, observes nothing but its next meal.