This House Is Not a Motel

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Water. That’s what my body is asking for as I lie motionless on this moss-ridden floor. The accumulation of sand and flora kicking everything into the air as I see bits of pollen shimmer in the sunlight through the cracks in the ceiling of eucalyptus leaves. My heartbeat; slowed, my muscles; relaxed, my rifle barrel and scope gathering a thin layer of dust above it. I never could stand the waiting aspect of the hunt, I just wanted to shoot. I couldn’t very well just go to the shooting range the next town over, because I wanted to kill. The elusive 40-point buck was in these woods, and I wanted to be the one to catch it. No one has ever seen it, but I’m not going anywhere.

I think its the fact that no one has ever seen it or even gotten close to it that lulled me into this endeavor. But if I wait long enough and become like the rest of the forest, it’ll appear, at least, that’s what the folktales say. Sure enough, it wandered out of an ordinary shrub, right into my crosshairs. Bang. I dragged the carcass back to my cabin and was excited to share the news with all the people who never believed me. One at a time they came over and marvelled at the catch, and just as quickly as they ‘oo-ed’ and ‘awe-d,’ the beast’s corpse vanished.

In a matter of weeks, it came back to life and wandered the woods again. Only this time, hunter after hunter succeeded in killing and capturing it. But everytime, it left and wandered again, and hunter after hunter kept preying after it. Now the buck wasn’t so special anymore. Sure I wanted what I couldn’t have, but now that everyone could have it so easily, well, I’m glad I didn’t quit my day job and have to return to the office on Monday back in the city. That buck reminded me so much of, well, me. Alone, one of a kind, and ready to disappear back into some unidentifiable consciousness. But at least I had that moment with the now omnipresent 40-point buck, where I was one with the woods, one in its world. Somehow, I don’t think I was ever really the hunter just because I had the gun. And somehow, I don’t think it ever existed until I imagined it with all my heart into this world. Now, its got its own flyers and advertisements, and even a breakfast burrito named after it.

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