parade of one
I’m looking out a window and sitting in a small field, situated between a major road and clusters of warehouses, is a metal outline of a wolf. Not so much a statue as a black shadow of a creature that hasn’t been seen in these parts in a hundred years. I fight the urge to call the wolf fake or a fraud because its lack of animation is through no fault of its own.
I’m not sure what the original purpose of the wolf is was, but now it just acts as a reminder that I’m looking out a window situated between a major road and clusters of warehouses. And that makes me sad.
I realize that if you’re a rabbit, you’ve never spent any time mourning the fact that large carnivores are no longer with us but I have to think that even rabbits, whether they’re aware of it or not, must feel like something’s missing. If you’ve ever seen a rabbit get killed by a wolf, you’ll never get too romantic about the relationship between the two animals but teeth and blood and rabbit screaming aside, I still imagine that a rabbit that has never heard the howling of a wolf must somehow feel incomplete.
Maybe the owners of the corporate park thought the wolf cutout would act as a scarecrow of sorts, keeping away the hoards off bunnies that would otherwise make quick work of the elaborate gardens that they meant to plant but never did. So the wolf sits in a field of pale green with splotches of yellow and brown distributed rather unimaginatively and surrounded by grey leaf-less trees and grey roads and grey buildings filled with grey people driving brightly colored automobiles that never miss an opportunity to run over every rabbit they can get their wheels on.
The wolf itself is well done. If it were a bit darker outside, I could mistake it for a real one. In fact, I keep looking at it out the corner of my eye as if inducing it to move.
But it doesn’t.
Which is a bummer.
Then it happens. I am away and bounding through the fields. Low to the ground I feel the wind on my face and smell farms miles away. Past the storage units for rent and the plumbing supply place, the blood rushing through my wolf-man limbs. I let out a long howl and rabbits in the tri-county area shit themselves for reasons they don’t fully comprehend. I glance back and see a black cutout of a nerd sitting in a task chair in a window, so lifelike that if I look at him out of the corner of my eye I could swear I see movement.
And then I’m back in the chair… but I don’t see movement. Only stale air moving back and forth out of my mouth grudgingly. Like it’s being wasted. But I feel an ache in my chest so I know it’s not. The teeth and blood and spirit screaming aside, there might still be some hope.
Hope that one day I can climb on the back of that wolf and have him carry me somewhere that feels like home.
To the both of us.