The Shop Window Wasp Collection – Ben Macnair
It starts as these things always do with the first one. You don’t notice it at first. It is just there waiting to be seen. A dead wasp in a shop window it’s never really remarked upon. It is just there. When the second one and then the third one appears, people begin to notice.
Then it becomes news. Something for people to talk about when they pass. Small talk. People were wondering why after the first wasp, no one has cleaned it up. Then they begin to notice the other things. The unopened letters. The dust that collects in the window. How the shop has not had a customer for years.
Soon the shop window wasp collection has its own Facebook page. A Twitter feed. An Instagram page.
A macro photographer thanks it is a great idea for his next project, so one day, he finds himself in the shop and takes photos of the Wasps in the shop window. He uploads those photos to his own Twitter feed and then onto Instagram, and before long, he has more followers more interested in these new photos than they ever were in the old ones.
A television studio takes up the story. They interview the Photographer for his opinion, and then he is arrested for breaking and entering. The police have him bang to rights. He is in the shop with no one else’s permission.
Soon a lawyer takes an interest in the case.
The Photographer gathers even more followers to his cause. Soon he’s spoken of in parliament. It makes a difference to all of the other stories about corruption, all of the allegations of wrongdoing.
Everyone has an opinion. Should he have been in the shop? What about the laws of trespass.
What about the photographs? Are they any good? Even if they good, are they art? What about the wishes of the Wasps?
Soon more and more shops are broken into. Not for what they sell, but for what is collecting in the windows.
Soon the derelict shops with big spider-webs are seized upon. The spider’s victims, cocooned, are now flashing up all over the internet, only given value by likes and how visible they are to the viewing public.
Nature happens regardless. It needs no audience, no approval ratings, nothing to result from what it does, no rewards. It just keeps on going, improving, practising, getting better.
Soon the population loses interest in the Photographer. His website visited as infrequently as the shop that caused all of the problems to begin with. He looks back wistfully at his actions, the dropped charges, the view interviews that followed, the one article that appeared in the photography magazines.
He sold his equipment, moved onto pastures new. A Wasp will always sting you when it can.
Ben Macnair is an award-winning poet and playwright from Staffordshire in the United Kingdom. Follow him on Twitter @benmacnair