No one understands this desire, so I can only assume it is a foolish one. Trapped by humanity, chained by civilization. I just want to escape. I want to run through the trees and sneak through the shadows. Hunt and be hunted. I wouldn’t last. Or maybe I would. Would I be able to find food for myself? Defend myself when I encountered something that thought I was food? How long would it take me to die from the elements?
I think about these things as I stare into my well-stocked cabinets. As I drive my car to work. As I tell myself that it’s bedtime, and I force myself to sleep so that I won’t be groggy when I force myself to wake up in the morning.
I’m tired of being civilized, tired of being part of humanity. Hypocritical, of course, because I love central air conditioning and coffee and contact lenses, and a million other conveniences of modern man.
I can’t imagine living a life without at least a pencil and notebook to write in, so I suppose I don’t want to become totally detached, I don’t want to be stripped of all man’s niceties. Carving shit into the wall of a cave just isn’t the same, I bet.
I don’t know—rambling. Just so tired of the bullshit. Millions have had these same feelings before me, and millions will have them after. When people talk about wars, about inflation, about gas prices, about movies—I just don’t want to be any part of that.
Don’t get me wrong—I discuss wars, I bitch about gas prices and inflation, and I love talking about movies. But I’m sick of it. I want away.
“What do you want?” my princess asked me last night.
“What do you mean?”
“What kinds of goals would you like to set for yourself? What are your hopes and dreams. What do you want? Like that.”
“I don’t want to talk about this right now,” I tell her.
“Because right now, I just want to run in the night, howl at the moon,” I tell her. “Track down and kill something,” I don’t tell her—because I realize how disturbing that kind of thing is to hear.
Minutes of silence.
“What animal would you be?” I ask her.
“If you were a wild animal, if you didn’t have anything like electric stoves and cable TV, if you were an animal, what would it be?”
“I would be a black panther,” she tells me. I’m not sure what scenarios she has taken into consideration before making this statement, but I’m almost 100% positive she isn’t thinking along the same lines as I am.
“Good pick,” I say. “Jungle cats are the way to go, I think. You can run fast, you kill the shit out of other animals—you have claws and fangs—and you can climb trees.”
“Okay,” she says. With the trepidation that you might expect.
“I thought wolf at first,” I say. “They hunt in packs, so you can overpower a lot of stuff. But the sleeping situation, that bothered me—because they just sleep on the ground. I read once that certain jungle cats sleep in trees, so you would be safe from most other animals. Except big-ass snakes. But I think you could kill a snake with your claws and teeth.”
“People are the worst, though. Like, if you dropped a group of people out into the wild—no TV crews, no grocery stores, just nothing at all—do you think they would be predators or prey?”
“Just a group of people, like if you dropped them out in the wild, like on an island or something, how do you think they would survive? We don’t have claws. We don’t have wings, we don’t have super-sharp teeth. We don’t have natural defenses, any way to protect ourselves, and we don’t have any real advantage over other animals as far as hunting them goes.”
“We have out minds,” she says. “We have our ability to reason and think. We would make traps for food, and shelter as a form of protection. We have the ability to reason, and that would give us the edge.”
“Do you know how to build a shelter?”
“I don’t. I don’t know how to build a shelter or hunt or anything else. Most people don’t. Most people, you drop them in the middle of nowhere, I bet they just die. If we could learn to get over stupid bullshit and hunt as a pack, that might save us.”
“Like say a lion or something runs into where you’re all at, if we run like deer, we’re screwed. But maybe—and maybe is all I’m saying—maybe we could overpower it with our numbers. But it would require everyone working together as a pack. People getting hurt, sacrificing themselves, whatever. Jumping right in there and ripping the thing apart piece by piece, maybe. I don’t know—that’s the only way I could see a pack of humans surviving in the wilderness.”
No response, and I can’t say that I blame her. This is not a discussion you want to be having while you’re just chilling out in bed after a long hard day of work. Your loved one over there on his side, talking about ripping a lion apart, what the hell is that?
“I think we would be prey,” I tell her. “Humans are no longer equipped to deal with nature.”
And I think that’s what bothers me. We’re all a bunch of softies. Because even if we formed a pack and killed that lion, we’re all gonna die because of something in the unprocessed water, or maybe from the weather, or maybe because our teeth rot out and we can’t eat.
The only advantage mankind has is the ability to fuck up the world so bad that nothing else can take us out.
Like I said, everyone I’ve discussed this with just laughs like they do when I’m talking weird bullshit, “Ah-ha-ha, Ray’s making a joke again, being a freak, whatever.”
So I guess this is an odd line of thought. I mean, of course it is—I’m not so out of touch with society that I think this is normal by any means. But I’m sincere about it, maybe that’s the difference.
It bothers me that this planet is ruled by a species that has no business ruling.
Of course, this is coming from a guy that thinks we should hand over the planet to those monkeys that do those cute little cartwheels.