Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Uncaged Wild Things

(Pre-Script: This post will cause the least disturbance to your psyche when paired with the song, "The End of the Innocence," #41 on the playlist, so scroll down and click it on, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

I was driving in the middle of the large city where I live when what to my wandering eyes should appear but a vulture, nibbling on some road kill. I immediately did a mental life review :
"This is not the African Savannah just after the lions have feasted. This is not even the Oakland Zoo. This is the middle of San Jose, California, on an industrial street. There is a Target right there, and houses, lots of houses. And traffic. How in tarnation did a VULTURE get here?"
When I think of birds, I think of pretty, flying, small, colorfully feathered creatures that chirp, warble, and live in nests where they feed their little babies the worms they have caught. But let us not forget that there are other kinds of birds, the kind that caw, eat rotting flesh, perch upon high places all clustered together waiting for rotting flesh to appear, and genuinely look like death personified. Well, No, they cannot look like death personified, can they, since they are not "persons;" They look like death birdonified.
I am not at all comfortable with this level of uncaged wildness living around me, Since you will recall I am not living in the African Savannah or the middle of the Oakland Zoo.
In this city, the most stressful wildlife I encounter is Police Cars and Wasps. Diving anywhere near a police car always makes me nervous. If I see that a Police car is behind me, I turn onto the nearest street so as to avoid being followed by the Police car. All that Police Officer has to do is turn on his light, and I am a pulled over driver. I hate being a pulled over driver. Most of the time it will not happen, but it has happened enough that I do everything I can to avoid driving in front of Police Cars. I avoid them like wasps. Seeing wasps gives me the same sensation of heart palpitations and a rapid need to escape. That part of city dwelling is stressful enough without the added worry of large wild animals who are closer in physical proximity to me than I am aware.

"But Michelle,"

interjects my imaginary reader,

"Michelle, what about the roadkill?"

the roadkill, Gentle Reader?

"Yes, Michelle, the roadkill that the Vulture was snacking on?"

Oh, yes, that.
well, Gentle Imaginary Reader, roadkill does not generally bother me. It might make me curious, though, like "Oh, look, it's a raccoon/possum/fox. Wait, a raccoon/possum/fox?! Who knew there were wild raccoons or possums or foxes living around here, so close to the mall." Where have they been hiding??
Maybe the city needs to pump in music throughout the city with subliminal messages that would play on a constant loop. It would be like the '80's, when the parents could blame all of their teenager's rebellious acts on the music they were listening to, which may have sounded like harmless hateful heavy metal when played forward, but if you played it backwards, there were alleged subliminal messages the teenagers were supposedly absorbing at a subconscious level, then obeying, with no choice in the matter whatsoever.
The subliminal message you would hear when playing the City's piped in music backwards would be:
"Attention Wildlife: This is not the Oakland Zoo, The San Diego Zoo, The Chicago Zoo, any zoo, any jungle, any desert, or the African Savannah. This is not a veld. This is the city. The type of birds that live in the city are supposed to be the pretty, colorful ones who eat worms and warble. The rodents are supposed to stay relatively small, hide underground, and stay there. If you are a crazy wild thing, make a note of it."
You never know what is hiding, living, breathing, and breeding just under, over, behind and beyond, but always way too close to you.

Blink, blink.


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