That I might live, others must die.
It’s a harsh reality but
I suppose I’m okay with it.
In the realm of morality, there’s a hierarchy of them
which are decreed spiritually insignificant
and strangely all those others deemed
significantly lacking in requisite spirituality.
Not exactly sure where I fall in that spectrum,
but between me and them what be
designated as ‘others’,
I figure I got the inside track
on where my loyalties lie.
I suppose I should define
just who gets the categorical labeling of ‘others’
but where would be the fun in that?
This all being a game and
everything involved being
some form of pretension, we are
supposed to pretend we are starving.
And starving being a precursor to death,
it’s relatively easy to stay focused.
And in part of that whole pretend scenario,
it really helps with the ‘poetic license’
that I haven’t eaten in almost a day.
Of course I am not a lone soloist
in this whole starvation experience.
Of those contestants in my
makeshift Donner Pass party,
there are seven men and one female.
Of the fact there’s a woman in our midst
is not supposed to matter.
We are a military presence and thus
Don’t ask and don’t tell us of your all too
This ain’t about procreation.
Ain’t about gender genitalia.
Is about life sustaining satiation.
Is about voraciously devouring others.
Okay, a bit of clarification may be in order.
My use of the word ‘others’
might just be a bit broader than yours.
You see, there’s the other seven living entities
in my immediate group
(all by law—un-edible)
and then everything else.
Half of which by taste are also un-edible.
That one girl in our group?
She has openly expressed that
she is a vegetarian.
I figure that for her this fact has cut the
remaining group of what’s edible
roughly in half.
On the previous night, we had to
slaughter by hand
a pair of rabbits and
Something of which
did not sit well with her. She…
She used to raise them as pets.
How would she as herbivore
last in such an unforgiving wild?
So there we stand at a stream,
refilling our canteens with
bacterial and protozoan
‘others’ laden water,
and carnivore that I am,
I look down to spy a medium sized snake
enter the liquid flow
and make for the far bank.
There mid coarse,
I easily reach down to grasp it by the neck
and lift it up to display before
my surrounding pack of fellow hunter-gatherers.
And here I am expecting adulation,
and indeed from the majority of my
Cro-Magnon brethren I receive it, but…
But not from her.
From across the stream, she
surges forward and there a few feet away,
raises her hands into clinched fists
and begins to rain them down
upon my upper chest and shoulders.
“Put it down! Put it down! Put it down!”
she screams again and again.
Tears well in her eyes
and her soft face contorts
in the most extreme way.
Oh, I’ve been slapped by a girl but
this is the first time I’ve ever been beaten.
Ah yes. Well… The fists?
The fists meant very little.
No. It was her eyes.
The willingness to starve
so that some lesser entity
deemed insignificant by
we the humanoid masses
might continue to live another day.
And here her verbal assault alters.
“You got the rabbits! Put it down! Put the snake down!”
Again a maniacal mantra.
All in syncopation to the percussive rhythm
beaten into my chest.
And I let the snake go.
Let it drops to the water where it
shoots away and down the stream
before any of the other men can grab it.
And here now my onslaught of abuse
changes from female to male.
What a loser!
What a pathetic example of manhood!
And they turn away in disgust for
what have I done
but failed one of the ultimate tests of virility?
Am I weak?
Well isn’t that obvious?
I have let down my fellow man.
Flunked ‘Male Bonding 101’.
But hey! Let’s face it.
This is less about men and
more about me embracing my feminine side.
For men I will always put up the
pretence of accommodation,
but here’s the truth:
I love women.
To starve myself;
to waste away and whither.
I would die for you.
There at your stream,
I would release my grasp.
Turn loose my snake and
ease it back into the flowing wet
of which I just withdrew it.
I would do this for you.
All you have to do is ask.
©09 Jack Hubbell