It’s Not a Phage, Mom

Written by: Kaz Nuckowski

By Varicella Vaccina

I’m not doing this because it’s a viral trend! It’s not infectious, my friends haven’t caught it, and no one is putting me up to this. As much as you want to believe I contracted a brain-eating amoeba at Lake Mead or whatever, these choices are mine and mine alone to make. It’s not a phage: this is who I am.

I know it’s hard for you to believe that I have different opinions from you, but that makes me a fun guy with my own thoughts and opinions, not a fungal reservoir. I appreciate everything you did for me growing up, but it’s time for me to cultivate my own Petri dish. I get to define my culture, form my own colony of people who I love and trust who will support me for who I am. And guess what? There’s nothing you can do about it! I deserve to break out of my cell and be free. And that’s how it should be!

I know my spore-adic habits scare you, but I’m finding my cilia for the first time. You can’t always be there to hold my flagella. This journey of self-discovery is a unicellular organism which deserves my undivided attention and none of your intervention. I know you want to help. I know eukary-a lot-ic about me. I know you have life experience and you know better than me. You may have been the nucleus to the cell of my young life, but I can’t be your little girl forever. One day, we’ll no longer be symbiotic creatures. I won’t be an annoying parasite leeching off of you. I’ll thrive on my own because you gave me the chance to make mistakes and learn from them.

I am not a perfect clone of you, born of mitosis. I am a product of the primordial soup of which you were only one element. We’re different species, and to share our habitat, I need to find my own niche. Let me pipette my own nutrient broth. Let me gel my own electrophoresis. Let me develop my own immunological memory against the dangers of the world. I can be goth if I want. I can be a punk if I want. I can be as virulent as I like. You may believe I’m on the wrong path-ogen, and that might be true, but I will figure it out for myself.

Distribution Lieutenant at The MQ

Kaz Nuckowski is a Copy Editor for the Muir Quarterly. They are usually found in Half Dome laughing and encouraging students to share their wit or giving their own suggestions to make everyone else laugh. Never doubt Kaz and their skills because they will surprise you, especially when the spread has a comic open and they are feeling inspired!

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