December 10th, 2010

As humans, we find ourselves surrounded with mirrors. Personification, so that we may describe what beauties we seek and find in nature with quiet words that echo familiarity. Such careful handling of that quiet obsession with ourselves; no hurricane sieged the gates of New Orleans, and I have yet to witness the sun climb into the sky— but men have, and more.

We stare at dogs. Dogs stare back, crooks its neck, and we swear it human.  “Short, furry and drooling— but Jenny I swear, this dog is human none-the-less!”

Little tables. Bright neon signs. Pleas of attention and donation for the less than fortunate on the campus of a private university yield more feigned phone conversations than dollars. As a species, we fail to reach out to each other. I do not think that all men (and women) were created equal. Flawed and perfect, we march down these paths in lock-step, eyes forward— though not hand in hand.

I ask what of brotherhood. What of childish indifference, that intolerance to lack of friendship. When I was young I wanted to be everyone’s friend… more often than not, refusing to take no for an answer. We are shallow, petty things but we strive to be better.

But we put our friendships in dogs. We put our faith, our traits, mannerisms, qualities— our sacred souls— into dogs and their loyalty. We trust their loyalty in all the ways we doubt strangers in our towns. We welcome stray dogs without that cautious glance of disapproval for the wandering vagabond.

We say dogs are human. We are selfish. We are vain. But this is what makes us human, so different than the rest that inhabit this playground of a world.

And, damn me. But I swear this dog looks at me curiously and thinks: what an ugly, hairless dog I make.

 

 

———————————————————

It is true that we are weak and sick and ugly and quarrelsome but if that is all we ever were, we would millenniums ago have disappeared from the face of the earth.

– John Steinbeck.

Advertisements