I like when humans appear to me as animals.
Those rare interludes in which knowledge is suspended, when a classroom of twenty two students registers simply as mammals in chairs, deliver a breathtaking reversion to pure perception. Somehow I momentarily escape the veil of familiar categorization and truly see.
Instead of black kids and nerds and jocks and white kids and bros and asian kids and dorks and latinos I see these mostly hairless things, heaving with breath and squirming with impulse. Analogues flood in: Saint Bernards, chihuahuas, mice, walruses, squirrels, leopards, rabbits… but they remain analogues. These creatures are something different. And while I know they’re human, during these moments of suspended judgement, they become wild.
Vulnerable and vicious and admirable.
These human creatures reveal their true status as animals living the great fight of life. They yearn to find their multidimensional niche. They all want company and power and wealth and respect and peace. If they transgress, it is only due to their deference to individuality – their realization of insertion into ONE functional body that gives them access to life, and the tremendous fear inherent to that realization.
And when my perception snaps back to “normal” – say from the aggravation of a stupid question or a late assignment – I am responding to my own creature insecurity. I see dumb, lazy bros feeling entitled to success and praise without putting in the work to achieve it.
But what am I? From where have I received the title of supreme judge of human life?