Bacterial love

maggot love

I wonder if, in all of their ambitious hurry to colonize and reproduce, bacteria ever feel the need to find love. Does their unicellular existence make them immune to infatuation? Do the logics of binary fission keep them from longing?  (Would they, in effect, be falling in love with endless versions of themselves?)  And if people could reproduce by splitting in two, would we still need each other?

While they don’t rely on each other to multiply, I like to imagine that the precarity of bacterial existence makes some sense of connectedness one of the few sources of pleasure in an otherwise uncertain and short life.  Maybe it begins with a furtive glance from across the colony… followed by cellular fireworks.

I write this on the verge of some growing tummy trouble.  I’m counting on my immune system to take care of the thing, but in the meantime, I like the image of a micro-drama unfolding—bacteria mingling and rushing to meet their special someones in the little time they have left.

4 thoughts on “Bacterial love

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