The essay below is my submission to the STSC Symposium, a monthly set-theme collaboration between STSC writers. The topic today is - much to’s dismay - “Dinosaurs.”
Under the fan shade of the Ginkgo tree, I inspect the ridges of your warted covering. My deprived eyes raise the tumescent tubercles from the surface of your slumbering body; they are curious at my curiosity. I stand at the face of your prone bones, yet still eye to eye because of your size. When will you wake and drench me in your humid breath? My very own rainforest. You can be Climate while I play Catastrophe. Others could only exhale with localized accuracy so that my neck was wet while my shoulders were dry, but you wetten me from skull to sole. Let me climb your spiny tail and dig my pelvis into your dorsality until we become one articulated lumber of trample and chomp.
But if your blood is Cold then how can your breath be Hot, like I’ve been told?
And how can we know the color you wore if only your skeleton remains?
You are Debate presented as Consensus. Nothing about you is Whole and little is still Known.
Our Dinosaur Indoctrination begins early. Their appearance is force-fed to us as empirical omniscience by pushy fingers, making us fat on Belief and thin on Inquisitiveness.
In 2003, I sat in a paltry conference room in a suburb of Kansas City amidst a table of government employees. I was the only attendee from the private sector in the weeklong wetland training.
Remaining Salient Memories:
Predawn mornings walking with a Fetish of men in Carhart coveralls.
Ordering a self-styled vegan meal of green beans, corn, and beets at an isolated diner on the backroads of Mizzura while someone looked around and whispered, “are you trying to get us shot?” The mushy meal was a win, and none of the locals batted an eye at my diet.
Regret over saying no to a tryst with a married man from Covington Kentucky only to realize with the years that I would have regretted the kissing more than the sitting-alone-in-my-motel-room-reading.
The brontosaurus was the victim of a forcible name change; it was renamed Apatosaurus. This tidbit was hidden in a lecture on the Federal government’s capricious wetland regulations, but what stuck was the newly named dinosaur.
My Apatosaurus Awakening:
This was the beginning of my realization that what seemed set was in flux. I dug deeper into dinosaurs, and my catechistic knowledge that green and brown, cold-blooded reptiles stomped the earth with their steamy breath underwent the Asteroid Effect and I was left with the familiar feeling of being 15 and realizing Atheists weren’t evil and followers of the Jewish faith weren’t extinct.
The Existence Of Dinosaurs is proven but their descriptions are still open for discussion, and the Countenance Of History is refined with each scientific unearthing. My once-upon-a-time unquestioned faith in God was replaced by a faith in a future that will confirm the duration of Pink Dinosaurs; Pink, the color of original beginnings.
I reread this today just to indulge in this wonderful warm bath of fantastical words.
Wetten, catechistic, tumescent tubercles ...
A wealth of riches for my parched cranium.