Junior is the bigger of the two. As soon as I put the water and food dishes in he trots over to the food and begins to chew on a nugget. DJ is much smaller and naughtier. He jumps right into the water dish. I swear he is smiling at me as he luxuriates in the cool liquid. He waggles his front and hind legs in the water with delight.
I think they are more intelligent than they look. Sometimes I catch them vocalizing and I wonder what they are saying.
“Finally,” Junior said. “Yeah,” it’s about time,” DJ said. “He looks rough this morning,” DJ said. “I suppose he’ll throw in one of those lousy rinds of watermelon,” Junior said. “Doesn’t he notice that we never eat it?”
“I wonder how intelligent he is,” Junior said. “I know he’s bigger than us but in the brains department I just don’t know.” “The female is a lot smarter,” DJ said. “You’re right DJ. Maybe the females have a bigger brain,” Junior said.
DJ crawled out of the water dish and moved to the glass wall. “Now DJ stop that. It’s not nice,” Junior said. “You shouldn’t make funny faces at the humans. Don’t descend to their level.”
Every time I walk by he is there. He throws a ball of dough onto a table. Clouds of flour billow up and swirl around him. He is of indeterminate age. The forearms are massive and corded with muscle. He stares at me with no expression.
He makes great pizza.
I sit up at the top. I have a great view from here. In fact what I say goes. He doesn’t know it, but I’m in charge. I make him go get a bag of potato chips and another beer even when he knows he shouldn’t.
Most people don’t realize the truth. Brains rule minds. You can learn facts and principles and practice and acquire skills. You can use all the logic you want. When decision time comes, what I say goes. I can make my human do anything I want. Even if he doesn’t want to.
It’s pretty cool being in charge. I basically have a personal robot at my command. It’s ironic how smart that mind can become but it still can’t stop me.
What shall I make him do today?
Fresh cool air rushes in as I yank open the window. After the sticky heat of yesterday it’s a great relief. The Sun blazes in the East like a ball of fire in the treetops.
Here I sit in front of my keyboard. I begin to press keys and neurons fire and then it begins.
I see the jogger making his rounds. He is quite slim and wearing white socks pulled up as far as they will go. I take this as an indication of his having attained at least middle age with its corresponding loss of fashion sense. He looks fit and ready for anything.
Here he comes again into view. What’s that? I see a shimmer in the air in his path. I must be seeing what the eye doctor called ‘floaters’. No, it’s still there. Something is on the path. I don’t know where it came from but now it is becoming clearer.
I see a swirling cloud of gold and it is approaching the jogger. Apparently he can’t see it and I wonder if I should call out. Too late.
I heard the booms from far away. In quick succession the vibrations punched my eardrums. We headed toward the sound. There they are. Four young men playing furiously. The accordion wheezing next to bagpipes and a flute.
A crowd watched and stamped their feet. Off we went to the pub.
Hundreds of males and a few females harmonize together to play a symphony for anyone who cares to hear. Each small organism diligently draws one wing over the other to produce sound. Every evening and morning this reassuring blanket of chirps envelopes me.
A blanket of clouds covered the stars. I approached the grass with care. I remembered being told that you should shuffle your feet and make as much noise as possible. That would scare them away. I couldn’t see a thing. I might as well be blind.
I entered the knee high grass and headed in the direction of the hole in the fence. Once I reached it, I could take the dirt path on the other side. My knees shook and the grass brushed against my trousers. I saw the faint outline of the fence. Lights from faraway huts twinkled in the distance. My eyes had adapted to the darkness.
I reached the ragged hole in the fence and gave a sigh of relief. Then it rose up. It looked like a curved black whip. The head reached my shoulder and its mean eyes glared at me. I saw the forked tongue flickering, tasting the air in preparation for a strike. I stood motionless. I knew I had no chance.
Two fat koi glided through the water. “You look nice today,” Brilliant Orange said. “Thanks,” Cream said. They moved out from under the green mat of algae into the Sun. “Ahh, that feels good,” Brilliant Orange said. “Mmm, I know what you mean,” Cream said. They basked and flipped their fins a bit and moved on.
“Hah, there he is again,” Brilliant Orange said. “I smelled him coming,” Cream said. “That cigar smoke carries a long way.” They watched the obese human sit on the bench. He sweated while he puffed on the brown cylinder. “I wonder why he just sits there?” Cream said. “Doesn’t he see the water? It’s such a nice day for a swim.” “Humans aren’t very bright,” Brilliant Orange said.
“There, look at that one,” Brilliant Orange said. They watched a thin lady walk and walk. For some reason she had her hand next to her head the entire time that she walked. “Why do they do it? Putting that black rectangle next to their head while they walk?” “Beats me,” Cream said. “I still don’t know why she doesn’t join us in this beautiful water.”
Brilliant Orange saw Fathead Snapping Turtle approach. “Watch out. Fathead is coming,” Brilliant Orange said. Cream moved her pelvic fins in reply and they moved away from the giant moss covered turtle.
“I’m a little peckish,” Cream said. “Me too, I could use a bite,” Brilliant Orange said. They swam over to the algae mat and started to munch on the bright green strands. Cream moved next to Brilliant Orange and nuzzled him with her fins. Brilliant Orange stopped eating and faced Cream. “Baby, you’re the greatest,” Brilliant Orange said.
“Charge!” They swarmed over the epithelial cells in the nasal cavity. Many furiously probed the juicy fatty-protein sandwiches that made up the cell membranes. As they penetrated the defenses they let out whoops of joy. When one of the invaders gained entry it began to multiply and soon the cell bulged like swollen blister ready to pop. Finally the membrane burst. They spilled out of the cell and shouts and cries filled the air. All over the mucus lining cells went down in defeat.
“Come on, don’t give up now. We’ve almost got him.” They made another frenzied push and more and more cells popped open and gushed out the odd geometric shapes. They looked like alien spacecraft as they clambered over cells and swam through the mucus lining. Then it happened.
They felt the air roar by at the sudden intake of breath. “Get ready for the wildest ride of your life.” The forced exhalation sounded like a thunderclap. They shot out of the nasal cavities into the air, free as birds. “Whoopee!” The shouts of joy resounded in the spray of droplets that fanned across the room.
We can’t leave it alone. Almost no one can. It is our constant companion. It is our blanket, our teddy bear and we can’t leave home without it.
It’s so important to us. It is more important than danger. It is more important than someone’s life. People look at it while they are driving. They don’t even bother to look at the road. It is the most important thing in the universe. Nothing can stop it.
Because of our love for it we will walk without looking at the ground or in front of us. We will walk into an open manhole for it. We do not care. It is the most important thing in our lives. It is more important than us breaking a leg or walking in front of a vehicle. It is more important than a bus bearing down on us. We must look at it.
Why are we so insatiable? Why do we need the constant stream from others? Those others may not even be human. Why? It has found a vulnerability in human nature. It taps a need. It addicts almost all of us.
We carry it everywhere. Soon we will wear it. Some already do. Eventually we will incorporate it into our brain and body.
Is it too late? Will we have a choice?