As a young boy I was a cruel to lizards. More than cruel, I was sadistic. I would torture them. I didn’t get any pleasure out of it. It was just something I did, like breathing or watching TV or existing. One minute I would be electrocuting a lizard with a battery charger, the next eating a sandwich with Dad talking about airplanes.
The nonchalant savagery has haunted me for years.
I recently read a blog post, The man and the fish, which got me thinking about change, specifically my brutality and later empathy with animals.
These days I often feel stupid because I am so overly sensitive. I cannot watch “Jurassic Bark,” an episode of the cartoon Futurama, because the last scene shows a dog, Seymour, waiting obediently, outside, through all kinds of weather and over many years, for Fry, his human, to return. Fry never does because he was cryogenically frozen and isn’t revived for 1000 years.
(we choke up even writing about it.)
And it’s not just cartoons. Inanimate objects get anthropomorphized and twist me up. For instance, when I got my Juke, Hiro, we traded in our old car, a Versa, as down payment. The Versa was only a few years old, but I had enough cash and good enough credit to get the exact car I wanted, with all the Nismo trimmings. I was so proud driving off the lot. We passed the Versa on our way out. Just as we did its alarm sounded. Vicky looked out the window and said, “Ah. It’s crying. It doesn’t want us to leave it.”
(we’re not crying. it’s dusty in here.)
If that’s how I feel about imaginary and inanimate things, you can guess the hysterics when it comes to pets and other animals. Even lizards.
(we are the antithesis of toxic masculinity.)
While I wish I were somewhere more in the middle, emotionally speaking, what has me most intrigued is the question: when did this happen? I was well on the road to serial killing (if all those stories about childhood animal torture are to be believed) but took . . . a right at Albuquerque? Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I did. I’m all kinds of neurotic, but I’m not a sociopath.
(they’d have raped the flip out of us in prison. sensitive men are highly desirous in the penal system.)
Still, I can’t help but wonder what changed. I don’t remember any particular moment, event, decision that switched things up for me.
(maybe there isn’t. maybe this is just part of the gradual change everyone goes through.)
Yeah. Perhaps. Whatever it was, whenever it was, I’m thankful the change occurred. I may feel silly at times, but I can live with that.