One of my oldest and best friends can tell you I had an obsession with Duran Duran when I was 13-14 years old. One of her earliest memories is of me losing my DD poster in the bathroom of a mall. Me? Losing things? Go figure.
Anyway, I spent some time at a Wolf and Wildlife Center in Colorado last summer and now whenever I think of that experience I have “Hungry Like the Wolf” like a running soundtrack in my head. Embarrassing. This place is nothing to joke about. There is nothing pop circa 1983 about it. It changed my perspective on the hunter and the hunted.
It starts and ends with my cousin. I swear ever since he died I have been thinking of him as a more of a wolf and less of a human. Elusive. Dangerous. More than a little S.M.A.R.T. if you know what I mean. Street smarts, He did live on them, after all. As in homeless. I must admit I look at this community a little differently nowadays. A pack of sorts.
On a different day in Denver I accidentally struck up a conversation with a homeless man in a park. I wasn’t looking to talk to anyone. You know me, I’m usually focused on getting where I need to go, especially in a strange place. I don’t like to look lost or alone. But, on this particular day I found myself confused by a park. I entered it but couldn’t find a way out. The city had closed all exits except one for a street fair. A man sitting on a bench with a bemused look on his face finally asked, “do you want to get out? You have to go out the way you came in.” All I could sputter back was a curt “oh.” Intelligent me. Somehow we carried on a three quarter hour long conversation. He’d been to Maine. Knew Hawaii. Knew a home. Lives on the street. It was fall. I wondered about winter and he told me not to worry. He wasn’t in the least.
I thought I would see him again since we returned to the mall the next day. We didn’t. I’ve thought of him often and wondered if my cousin lived the same way. Did he have the same attitudes towards his condition? Did he not have a care in the world; shrug in the face of concern? Did he live by the day, the hour, the minute? Was life a tragedy, a comedy or just a beautiful buzz? I see a wolf as alone as one can be. To not think of him as hungry I have to ignore Duran Duran.