A tortoise–let’s call it Gregory Poke–
peeps its head out from inside its shell
in an effort to feel alive,
truly alive, for the first time in weeks
Gregory doesn’t quite know what to do next.
There are no predators to be seen
for hundreds of yards in every direction. Wait,
there are no predators here. How many times
does Greg have to remind itself of that?
And will it ever get over the affliction
of constantly referring to itself
in the third person? The answer may never arrive,
as this writer can only use 100 words. Howev–
is a sense
of foreboding pain,
nothing I can describe
to seize uncontrollably
until the dogs find me,
distraught and laughing,
rolling in the gutter,
where I don’t remember winding up.
I leapt through a series of otherwise meaningless hoops (bald, scorpion, mating ritual-oriented, etc.) before I could contextualize what the hell my actions even meant to me and to those within my immediate surroundings. And do you know what I discovered? You’ll be surprised to learn that absolutely nothing could have been derived from those actions aside from pain and rather tedious boredom! No matter how many labels I ascribed to my life, I still longed for the time where everything was laid out before me in ribbons, streaking across the sky and peppering my vision like pigeons flying above the public library (only pooping periodically, and never on the periodicals), laying my track before me. I had once been content to wander and follow the striped ground, but then the stripes grew apart and I could no longer passively traipse through my existence. It had become clear that I needed to select a distinct path, and I splintered my psyche into several different chords (audibly restless, confused and frustrated). My body grew apart from my mind and I lost that once common-sense connection that allowed me to exist in the same space as others of my species.
And now I wait for my paths to converge once more, so I may mend my fragmented soul and take part in that wholesale charade that most humans call real life.