Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Into the Mild

by Drew Martin
When we talk about civilization and the domestication of animals, we often forget that the two go hand in hand, and that the civilization in this union is not about permanent houses and social order but the personal taming of man. The past two nights I had peculiar dreams about animals. The first night I dreamt that I was swimming in a southern creek as I did as a kid, but the creek I know is murky and slithering with water snakes and other creatures, which used to brush by my skinny kid legs as they dangled in the water from the black rubber inner tubes. The water in the dream creek was clear and void of the alligators I was anticipating. On an island formed by the creek, I could see flashes of naked white humans walking through the dense, wild growth. When I awoke from that dream, I ran up into the hills of my town just before sunrise. I ran under a large wild turkey, which was perched on a low branch, just above my head. It gobbled a crack-of-dawn call. Last night I dreamt that I had to spend the night in a large barn-like attic room with wild animals. They were all hairy beasts; wolf-like, bear-like, carnivorous pack hunters. But as I walked by their Birkenau-like bunks, they did not growl or show their teeth. I imagined these creatures coming alive and acting on their wild nature once the lights were out.