Amid the Twists of Nature

Project the image. Use a low-output setting so they won’t notice if the battery gets weak. Don’t think about what will happen if the bulb burns out, until it does.

You can hide in the herd. Hide because predators pick off the weak, the sick, the elderly, the young. Easy targets. There’s cover in numbers. Numbers are the predators, though; the hunters are the herd. The pack eats its own. Keep your friends from getting too close, and your enemies not too far. Can’t tell the difference anyways. There’s cover in numbers.

When the weakness starts to show, distance. Don’t self-select through identification with the sick. Distance through ignorance, feigned or real. Distance through attack. Eat the sick. Bury the wounded. Accusers can’t be suspects. Maladies aren’t shared. The herd has no weakness in common with itself.

Fear is what drives us. Fear is the hunger in our bellies. The hot breath on our tails. The false shadow that rises between our water and the sun. Fear of the others. We are the others. Fear of ourselves.

Sometimes I think we live this way only because it has never occurred to us to do otherwise.

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