Written by Jonathan Aryeh Wayne, January 9, 2016
I will not be a Wikipedia entry someday. I will not be a Manhattan elitist nor a Brooklyn defeatist. I will not be a person who truly knows what he was born to do. Rather, I will continue to walk under the ramparts of electrical wires and watch the squirrels from way below as they embrace anti-establishment. Their high wire acts are not without pause or consideration, and they are fearless animals and natural acrobats. I once walked two or three blocks down a straight and busy avenue and noticed their antics for several minutes. As I continued my equine trot, this one particular squirrel continued running, but not in any hurry, as it was highly aware of me twenty feet below. I quickly realized this way of traveling was quite efficient and I immediately coined it the “squirrel expressway”. I waited for a few moments and surmised that the squirrel was waiting for me to make my next move. I walked, and was once again ahead of the animal. It was a sort of dance of different minds. The fearless squirrel was scampering along frighteningly high cable and telephone wires while I safely stomped along the pavement, grounded to the asphalt. I saluted the squirrel and bid him safe journeys to where he or she was heading.
Those fortunate few of us who look up and see another reality, a reality of the true high life, can relate to my observations. Every day, every hour and every minute, somewhere in the civilized world, a squirrel and no other animal of its kind, races along cable and telephone lines, as its form of “highway” travel. It’s the squirrel expressway’s espresso. It’s already naturally caffeinated, stimulated, not stymied, by the electrical currents just overhead. Not haunted in its jaunt, this bright-eyed and bushy-tailed soul adapts to our unsustainable way of life, a life where plastic water bottles are purchased in cases from “megaplex super markets” and end up in super whirlpools in the Pacific ocean a few years later. I swear that the “Great Pacific garbage patch”, as its otherwise known as, never once crossed the mind of a squirrel. Whilst I watch rabbits hop over streets late at night, and deer dash across roads more methodically than we give them credit for, the squirrels find more resourceful ways to get from point A to point B. They live in the moment, surviving on day to day rations, rather than relying on SUVs packed with canned goods and plastic protected foods. Never once did a squirrel ever buy food with metal or paper currency, and never once did a squirrel sit at a table and eat Filet mignon in a restaurant. Did the thought of strategically located bird feeders in residential communities ever resonate more heavily in the brain of a squirrel?
“How dare I even mention the word “recycling”, especially in the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.”
Every squirrel has their day, and tragic is the way some get lost in translation, in the minds of human frustration, when our cars careen and squash them, happily trading blood-soaked tires over dented bumpers. With so much murder on the minds of homicidal homo sapiens, road kill is fair game, and the norm in society. How dare I even fathom a world where people build bridges and tunnels for deer to safely cross the road? I do recall that very recently near Osaka, Japan, a turtle tunnel was actually built across some train tracks. Perhaps there is indeed hope that future civil engineers can incorporate these architectural and ecological marvels into their consideration. America is the land of freedom and liberty for only human beings though, remember, not squirrels or turtles. Animal rights you say? Impossible in the USA. In the checkout aisle, right before I’m asked to round up for a cause, I sometimes have my morality tested: Should I support orphaned children or an animal shelter? This political moment in time weighs heavily as I stand with a credit card in my right hand ready to swipe, as I’m fully aware of the next three people in line staring at me. It’s not even half as bad as being asked whether or not I need a receipt after my consciousness decides the fate of a never-ending and intangible humanitarian cause. Of course there is also that moral dilemma of finding a recycling canister, hoping that my green-smeared plastic cup from the juice bar doesn’t end up in the Great Pacific garbage patch around this time next year.
Sometimes I find myself carrying these plastics in my hand and caring about the fate of our planet, but when I found myself in Costco or more recently, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, I was unable to find a single recycling garbage can. I even asked the information desk where I could find a recycling garbage can, and I received a blank stare of confusion in return. How dare I even mention the word “recycling”, especially in the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Am I destined to be mistaken for one of those gun-fearing hippies who eat Vegan food from time to time? I admit, I’m an omnivore, but in certain parts of the world, one does not even contemplate if the cattle are grass-fed, raised humanely and not injected with growth hormones.
“If it was indeed a brain, then their anuses must have been their mouths put on backwards, and everything else was just a white nebula of fat.”
When I tried my luck at Jack Daniels Restaurant in the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, I discovered that every ignorant slab of meat came with seasoned french fries. And after yesterday’s 9 hour drive to Nashville, while I sat next to my business colleague who was chewing Copenhagen tobacco for most of the trip, I could now hear his ungodly teeth tearing through deep fried brisket quesadillas with a side of Thousand Island dipping sauce. I personally doubt that in the year 1894, the maître d’ of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel ever imagined his Thousand Island dressing would become a future dipping sauce for deep fried brisket quesadillas in a Tex-Mex dish. What can one progressive man like myself do surrounded by Neanderthalic Philistines? Either I can blend in and be blissfully ignorant or wage my moral and ecological war on mankind. For the sake of being on good terms with my business colleagues, I opted for voluntary blissful ignorance, keeping my mouth shut as the head of our table exclaimed out loud to our lovably birdbrained, country waitress that we were all Donald Trump supporters! I faked a smile, or perhaps a smirk, at his audacity and presumptuousness. Soon thereafter, as I dug into my disgustingly delicious meal, our reactionary boss violently attempted to finish an “important” email on his iPad, while his bloody burger and baked potatoes slowly cooled on his plate. To my left, I dreaded the reality that was unfolding before my eyes. The country guitar band was about to plug in their guitars and serenade all of the capitalists from Major League Baseball right then and there. It wasn’t just the fact that I was in a restaurant full of corporate scum from the day’s Major League Baseball Winter Meetings, but it was the impending horror that the music was going to be deafening. Somehow, with my momentary societal indifference, my brain was rewired that evening and I no longer cared about hydraulic fracturing, climate change, factory farming and genetically modified organisms. I was sitting amongst the ignorant bourgeois who believed in a false dichotomy, and who had insufficient information to prove their truths. Rather than let their brains read and research, they consumed and let their stomachs be their source for intelligence. It was no wonder that their stomachs were their “second brains”. If it was indeed a brain, then their anuses must have been their mouths put on backwards, and everything else was just a white nebula of fat.
Where was my deep-rooted hatred coming from? My mind was racing. I forgot about the Great Pacific garbage patch, and started thinking mainstream society really was the “Great Vortex of Stupidity”. If it wasn’t just stupidity, it was fraud, associated with every great human establishment, from baseball rookies to baking cookies. If it wasn’t just Propylparaben found in 3 month shelf life tortilla wraps that caused their Diabetes, it was the Collateralized Debt Obligations that precipitated the Subprime Mortgage Crisis that left people homeless. The stench of Endocrine-disrupting perfume that basked throughout the halls of the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center featured the finest parade of protruding human bellies clutching bloated bags containing team insignia stenciled on their letterheads. And for all of those souls trapped in skinny bodies with fatty livers, fearing chicken dinners with franchise winners, there were those desperate job seekers staying nearby in rundown motels, waking up at the crack of dawn and walking briskly across vast intersections, dodging speeding cars, on their way to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, much like those squirrels running along the high wires, in a balancing act of survival and death-defying endeavors. These young people are not yet damaged nor jaded, but soon they will one day become graduates of the squirrel expressway. After they walk the tightrope of life, they’ll climb down the telephone poles, step onto terra firma and begin making grand decisions for hundreds of millions of people and hundreds of billions of animals. Their corporate governments and mainstays will run the environment into the ground, perforating the mantle of the Earth’s crust, before the cosmic fireballs incinerate the surface of our planet and nature once again rises up and reclaims itself in a post-anthropomorphic world. The squirrel shall inherit the dearth, the scarcity, the inadequacy of our once promising species. Echoes of humanity will resonate through time and space while dreams will be suspended within holographic ringlets high above the event horizon of our future black hole sun, and our final words will be: “I still remember your remembers”… “I still remember your remembers”.