Sunday, January 29, 2012


Much has been made of and written about the elephant as metaphor, you among those who write of hidden behavior and archetypal blindness to the obvious.

To your knowledge, no one, least--and most regrettably of all—you, has addressed the inner elephant with anything approaching the cynical eye of the hunter or the writer.  How well hidden is the elephant within?  Are there, in fact, more than one?

Your first thought is to protest that there are no elephants whatsoever.  Because you have some experience at casting a cynical eye upon the world about you, a cloud of doubt passes before your awareness.  Piracy, plagiarism, and perfidy have become the modern horsemen of the apocalypse, cut from four in an economy measure reflective of the current financial downturn.

Camouflage has become a vital tool for the inner elephant, yours or anyone else’s.  The great mass over in the corner could as well be an elephant as a neglected pile of unread books or unwritten stories.

You move closer with intent to prod.

“The fuck you think you’re doing?  A querulous voice challenges.

“Checking to see if you’re an elephant.”

“Like I’d tell you if I was.”

“Were,” you say.  “If I were an elephant.”

 “I’ll tell you this.  You deserve an elephant.”

Always one to get the upper hand returned, you ask, “What makes you think I don’t already have one?”

“You had one, you’d have more of an edge in your voice.  You’d be the human in some elephant’s living room.”

“Elephants,” you explain, “are secrets.”

This produces a laugh from the undifferentiated mass who is beginning to resemble the individual Yossarian meets in the hospital ward in Catch-22, completely covered, one tube for ingoing nutrients and medication, one tube for outgoing waste.  “Humans aren’t secrets?  I suppose by your standards, writers aren’t secrets, either.”
The two of us, two secrets, at least two who are not elephants, but who might be anything else, are bonded for a brief moment in laughter at the unknown and unknowable.

1 comment:

Storm Dweller said...

Ahh yes, elephants, demons, baggage, issues, secrets... the metaphor for saying we each carry our own brand of insanity, but we make believe that we don't because we also don't acknowledge that everyone else carries one as well. We refuse to accept that being abnormal is absolutely normal in human existence. I wonder which elephant's living room that I stand in on a daily basis. Regardless, I hope I irritate it as much as my elephants irritate me. What a satisfyingly vindictive piece of karma that would be.