Today my friend squashed a spider as it emerged from between the sheltering folds of the newspaper. In that moment I felt something break inside me. I think it was the fragile philosophical premise that there is a space between animals and humans.
I’ve been equivocating.
Not being one bit vegetarian. And having killed the kindergarten rabbit. Accidently. Also being scared of horses and really wanting there to be a bit of space between them and me. More physical than philosophical. So, having admitted that I’m terribly failed, and have also put bait out for snails in my wretched past, I wonder where this emerging awareness might lead.
I struggle with binaries. The whole good versus evil dance. The moral high ground or the murky wasteland for the plebiscites, right or wrong, yes or no, succeeded or failed, male or female. Human or animal. Animal or human? Human animal?
I love the collective nouns for groups of animals; An Array of Hedgehogs, An Asylum of Cuckoos, A Boogle of Weasels, A Business of Ferrets, A Clowder of Cats, A Coalition of Cheetahs, A Contradiction of Sandpipers, An Exaltation of Larks, A Flick Of Rabbits, A Harem of Seals, An Implausibility of Wildebeest, An Inferno of Lucifer Hummingbirds, An Obstinacy of Buffalo, A Rhumba of Rattlesnakes, A Scourge of Mosquitoes, A Tower of Giraffes, A Troubling of Goldfish and a Wobble of Ostriches. The richness of these words nudges me closer to the edge of my human bondage.
Animals just seem so much more.
Perhaps I need to enliven the human species within my linguistic imaginary. Maybe then I would feel more kindly towards people. And less like Sweeney Todd. You know, wanting to bake them in pies.
So I start to make a list. Of sorts.
A Stomach ache of Lawyers, A Candida of Bakers, A Botox of Birthday girls, A Velvet of Ushers, An Armpit of Feminists (that’s me and my mates), A Sweat of Teenagers, A Horribleness of Haters, A Bondage of Stock Brokers, A Pleasure of Friends, A Hawk eye of Traffic cops, a Suture of Surgeons, A Regretfulness of Lovers, A Compass of Hikers, A Desolation of Refugees, A Homesickness of Travelers, A Tenderness of Babies, A Bouquet of Brides.
The list making softens the shouts of the debating team in my head. OK. No one is getting baked in any pies today.
I’m such A Foolishness of Human.