welcome to the jungle.

01/02/2011 § Leave a comment

He cried over writing every word.

It broke my heart to read that.

Imagine a man of stature and stance, en-blazoned with a love for humanity, neatly sitting at his desk covered with pens and purpose, dark-ink dwellings of the depths of depravity he has seen. And I wonder how it must have seemed.

“I am so scared for my friend, I don’t know where he is right now.”

“Nothing is ever as it seems.”

Or is it?

We can only theorize what life is like in other places. We romanticize or impoverish them with our minds unless we see it for ourselves. And even then, an experience is tied to our emotional response.

“Smells. Smells are so important,” the young lady with bleach-wheat hair told me. “And then, when I smell that smell somewhere else, I think of people. And then I think of those people and I feel so much for them.”

I wonder why that is or how that happens.

When I smell clean fuzzy fleecies or snow melting on the pavement, I think of my grandma. When I smell clean breezes and old wood, I think of my parents. They trigger wells of emotion that are hard to re-place. I find myself trying to create comforts of home, an attempt to feel grounded once again. I crave the salt of the Earth.

As I get older, I’m finding it harder and harder to grow up. I remember asking my parents if they ever felt like they grew up.

“No, we just learned to relax a little more.”

Last night, I walked to my friend’s place. I picked up my rhythm with every bead of sweat that I accumulated under my shirt, imprinting patterns and realizing that I usually don’t sweat. Not like this. The salt is different on this side of the Earth.

After a night of gathering, four of us humans curled on my friend’s bed, “generations” separating us, and snuggled with the newest furry addition to their family, Felipe — the three-month old Persian who is going to star in a movie (Cats vs. Rats). His feline brother, Indie, is a bit older. He was not really into playing.

The older I get, the harder I find it hard to grow up. And then I wonder if we ever do.

Earlier in the night, I scooped Felipe in my arms and buried my nose in his forehead. He smelled clean and his fur crept into my nose. I didn’t sneeze. I danced a little while he dug his chin into my hand. It feels so good when that happens.

If you unravel the seams, you find a deep well of light-refracting water. In everyone and everything.

That’s why Upton Sinclair poured his soul into The Jungle.


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