Man-Size (man_size) wrote,

The Great Fall

I'm sitting in my room on the south side of the second floor of the artists colony mansion when I hear a scream. I jump up and look out of my window, the one that faces the parking lot by the kitchen and I see two artists, a filmmaker and a performance artist, staring at something on the ground in disbelief. It's a squirrel. It's on its side. It's not moving. Is it dead? They look up at the enormous tree nearby and look down at the squirrel. I calculate, as they must have, that the squirrel fell a hundred feet or so. I make myself known when I bark, "Do you think it's okay?" They look up at me and shake their heads. They don't know. We don't know. Suddenly, the squirrel roles over onto its legs and crawls towards the tire of a parked car. I yell, "I'll be right there!" I run into the bathroom and grab a white towel and race down the mansion stairs and burst through the porch door and hop down the steps. I notice a playwright in my periphery of the porch. He's looking down. He's reading. By the time that detail registers, I'm already approaching the hurt squirrel. It skips to the stump of another tall tree and embraces it. Hands up, as if to say "Don't shoot!" I think it's still in shock. Is that blood on its nose? The filmmaker suggests we leave it alone. Let it crawl away to a corner and die. I advise otherwise. Maybe we can help it. I have a towel. I can wrap it up and bike to a hospital. The squirrel climbs up the tree and circles to the back of it. I slowly follow its trail. We make eye contact. The squirrel telepathically tells me its going to be okay and speeds up the side of the bark towards a thick branch and settles in. I notice that another 25-feet above that thick branch is a huge nest made of twigs and dried leaves. The squirrel is going home to convalesce and tell its family about "the great fall." I look at the other two artists and we shrug. We separate to make art and I walk back towards the porch praying the squirrel enjoys a swift recovery. Wishing I could hook it up with pain medicine or a hot tub. And, that's when I notice, again, the playwright reading on the porch. He doesn't acknowledge me or the recent situation and he barely flinches. Except for the crease in his brow, he appears inhuman. Nothing about his body language betrays the fact that he cares or is even aware of anything beyond the inches between his cornea and the text printed on the magazine. It's like he's frozen in his own mono-fixation coupled by morbid indifference to the outside world. After I stop myself from wanting to punch him unconscious for his classist behavior, I genuinely wonder "That must be one heck of an article" as I slam the porch door behind me.

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