Dangerous Compassions

cabin as habitat


Hey, guess what?  We’re at this cabin we like, by a river.  I have lizard feelings.  I’m looking forward to the sun coming up, so we can walk the three minutes over to the water.

cabin as habitat

The sliding glass door has vertical blinds, and they clatter in the ac breeze and fan breeze.  It sounded to me like a cat eating dry food, really loud, the dry food crunching between its teeth.

I had an experience of, “Why is there a cat eating, here?  Oh, that’s just the blinds,” over and over again.  But it wasn’t in language.  It was more like: [startled cat eating sound feeling], [ok no cat is here feeling].  I didn’t seem able to tell myself in a lasting way that there was no cat.  My body responded to the sound with complete cat-certainty and sensory discomfort.

theoretical lizard

It’s funny because the guy who owns this place warned me on the phone that he saw a lizard in here, tried to catch it, and couldn’t.  So maybe the idea-cat would catch the lizard.

Ming said the lizard could be a feature, not a flaw.  I mentioned putting out a little dish of water for our lizard pet.  I wish Liz would eat the ants that are in the bathroom.

“Is the lizard longer than two feet?” Ming asked.

“He didn’t say,” I replied.  We were on the car ride here, passing through unfamiliar desert..

“I’m not scared of a lizard unless it’s longer than two feet.”

“Do you mean with the tail, or just the body part, two feet?”  We considered this.

“Just the body part,” Ming said.  We considered this also.  I thought of komodo dragons.

Then I remembered an iguana I knew, that an older friend had, when I was a teenager.  How did I feel about it?  There was how I wanted to feel about it, and then how I actually felt.

how I wanted to feel

Cool!  You have an iguana!  What’s her name?  What does she eat?  Do you let her out?  Can I pet her?  How much do iguanas cost?  How old is she?  Hmm, how long do iguanas live?  Who cares for her, when you’re on vacation?  I want an iguana!

how I actually felt

Ugh, it’s that weird lizard again.  What’s it doing over there?  Is it ok?  I think it’s looking at me.  Does it have enough food and water?  Is that really a good life?  What does being a lizard feel like?  Do lizards care about humans at all?

Then there was the innuendo, the whole, “Can I touch your lizard?  Heh heh heh.”  I don’t care for it.  I would rather talk about sex directly; it’s really important.

back to the now

The coyotes were just howling, outside in the distance.  It’s almost 4am.  I slept six hours last night, which is my new norm.  Feeling grateful to my body for cooperating, as for a long time, I was only getting four hours.

I’m eating the most delicious oatmeal in the world–oats, butter, milk, pecans, and nectarine.  The nectarine is very ripe and sweet.  The pecans are fresh.  I feel very lucky.


By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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