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October 1-4, 2005


Pale Male
Turtle Pond - Sunday October 2, 05



Blue Jay
Locust Grove - Sat October 1, 05


Walking south from Turtle Pond, I reached the top of Cedar Hill at the East Drive and I saw a squirrel attempting to cross the road. I remained silent as I watched him run into the road. Traffic rolled up the hill—he was hit and remained motionless on the asphalt. I cringed and ran over to him. More traffic was coming up the hill when I picked him up and held his limp body in my hand. There was no sign of any external injuries, but his life was gone. I was hoping that he’d bite me with his last fragment of life so I could share his agony, but there was no movement in his pure wholesome little body. My destination was The Model Sailboat Pond to see the ducklings but now I diverted to The Ramble to find an empty bench.
I sat down with the images leading to the death of my little friend running in loops before my eyes. I felt his soft body to see if there was a last little heartbeat inside him but there was none. I caressed his soft fur and wondered where his life went. I condemned the Universe for robbing him of his due time on Earth.
I pressed him against my chest and kissed his head. I watched his perfectly formed face. I stroked his whiskers and ran my fingers along his fingers and toes. His chest was immaculately white and even softer than his back. It was cold enough that evening for me to wear three layers of clothing. I unzipped my jacket and fleece and tucked my friend closer to my chest. I held his head under my neck and begged the Universe to keep him warm and happy wherever she took him.
I collected my stuff and moved from the rustic bench where I sat near to the Maintenance Shed over to Charles’ bench in Evodia Field. I forced myself to be convinced that there is something and somewhere outside of my stagnant reality where knowledge and wisdom abound. And for the one moment when I believed such a place existed, I wanted my little friend to be there.
I returned reluctantly to my natural world where the cold wind bites your uncovered flesh and where one’s stomach continually pesters you to eat, and where sleep burns half your life away—I felt once again the hard bench under me.
Throughout my wonderings I could not distract from my query of ‘life’ and of what it is made. Was there a little puff of some un-measurable substance that vacated the little squirrel’s body? How does a squirrel know when to be dead? Is it only dead because I saw him? Did I create the entire scene? Did I want him to be dead? So many incoherent questions buzzed around my mind. I pressed my face onto the little fellow’s head and demanded that his life be returned. I insisted that he be allowed to scamper out of my embrace and into a warm tree—a handful of acorns, some dirt to dig into, and a tree to climb—this is all he asks of the Universe. I looked at my own body draped in synthetic clothing, pesticide ridden food assimilated in my veins, glass and steel and paper comprised my possessions. Every day I live I generate and or cause to be generated, poisons that suffocate little wholesome creatures like this one. If I was hit by that car enough so to bring my body to a similar end would there be a similar puff of un-measurable substance vacating my body? If someone were to put the squirrel’s ‘puff’ on one side of a scale and mine on the other, which way would the scale tip? Would it tip at all?
I could not leave my friend alone in the park. I held him close to my heart and visited the ducks. I watched the sprightly little ones flit about in the water and delighted in their aliveness. Why do we cut their heads off and hang them in windows? When they are alive and swimming every one around them appears to be happy as are the faces around the Model Sailboat Pond each day. But surrounding the window where they hang decapitated in Chinatown a collection of more wretched faces you’ll hardly ever find.
I studied the open sky on my way home and wondered why it would be any great feat for such a superlative entity like the Universe to put back the tiny animal’s life. After all it had performed so many countless miracles since its existence. Right then I decided to create my own Universe into which the squirrel jumped out of my chest and scuttled up a tall black locust. I thought I saw him look back at me for a moment but the light was difficult so I cannot be certain.
As for the lifeless shell in my jacket which I retained in the world of my reality; I took it home only to remind me that I must endure this temporal Universe in which I live. As I continued to brace the soft creature and kept him snug and warm, I surveyed the hundreds of human faces that passed me on my way home. My quest was to find at least one face that I thought worthy to equal or surpass the value of the squirrel’s life. My search continues yet.
The following night after reasoning with myself that the little creature truly belonged to the Earth, I brought him back close to where I found him. I approximated where he was attempting to go that night and with a sharp stone I dug a shallow hole and laid him snugly inside it. Some early fallen leaves and loose grass topped his resting place. I felt the Earth was pleased to get back her child and will produce another in his place which will be a little more alert to the insufferably cruel world we’re creating without care or worry for anyone else but ourselves.

A friend
Evodia Field - Sunday October 2, 05


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Pale Male
Just before the last hunt for the evening
Turtle Pond - 6:00PM Sunday October 2, 05



Lola
Photographed from Madison & 77th Street
The Carlyle Hotel - 11:48AM Sunday October 2, 05



Screech Owl
The Ramble - 4:24PM Sunday October 2, 05



Screech Owl
- 4:42PM Sunday October 2, 05




- Sunday October 2, 05




- Sunday October 2, 05




- Sunday October 2, 05




- Sunday October 2, 05


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email: lincoln@palemale.com



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