Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Wolf at the Door

Felt bad yesterday.  Headache.  Body aches.  Came home early.  Bought Thai chicken noodle soup, Thai hot.  Ate early, didn't drink.  Took extra strength pain reliever.  Drank water.  Got into bed before nine alcohol free, hydrated.  Thought I'd sleep well.  Didn't.  Woke every hour or so.

Maybe it's the moon.

Finally got out of bed at five.  Coffee, news.  RNC, plagiarism, Trump, et. al.  I had wanted to go to Cleveland to take photographs of the circus.  Glad I didn't.

I lay in bed and tried to dream pictures.  I can't think of any.  I am dry.  My imagination is dust.

I have asked the auto dealer to find me another automobile.  Same one, an Xterra.  I love the car.  It feels good every time.

My house is pretty now, too.

The trap--a house, a car, a job.  Not the full catastrophe, though.  I shouldn't complain.

I will feel better tomorrow.  I shall leave off the drinking for awhile.  It's not hard, really.  I just eat more as in the old days.  After dinner, a sliced apple smothered in peanut butter.  A glass of milk.  I'd forgotten that delight.

But of other things I despair.  Where has the creativity gone?  I've become a pampered and punished pet, nervous and obedient.

Long, long ago (1986), I saw a movie, "The Wolf at the Door."  I've tried to find it since, but it hasn't been available.  I just Googled it and now, unbelievably, the entire film is on YouTube (link).  I will watch it tonight.  I hope it is as good as I remember it to be, but things rarely are.  The film occurred to me this morning, however, because of a remembered story Gaugin tells to the young girl who is infatuated with him (I think this is correct, but it may be a false memory).  The story goes like this.

There was once a Wolf who got very little to eat because the Dogs of the village were so wide awake and watchful. He was really nothing but skin and bones, and it made him very downhearted to think of it.

One night this Wolf happened to fall in with a fine fat House Dog who had wandered a little too far from home. The Wolf would gladly have eaten him then and there, but the House Dog looked strong enough to leave his marks should he try it. So the Wolf spoke very humbly to the Dog, complimenting him on his fine appearance.

“You can be as well-fed as I am if you want to,” replied the Dog. “Leave the woods; there you live miserably. Why, you have to fight hard for every bite you get. Follow my example and you will get along beautifully.”

“What must I do?” asked the Wolf.

“Hardly anything,” answered the House Dog. “Chase people who carry canes, bark at beggars, and fawn on the people of the house. In return you will get tidbits of every kind, chicken bones, choice bits of meat, sugar, cake, and much more beside, not to speak of kind words and caresses.”

The Wolf had such a beautiful vision of his coming happiness that he almost wept. But just then he noticed that the hair on the Dog’s neck was worn and the skin was chafed.

“What is that on your neck?”

“Nothing at all,” replied the Dog.

“What! nothing!”

“Oh, just a trifle!”

“But please tell me.”

“Perhaps you see the mark of the collar to which my chain is fastened.”

“What! A chain!” cried the Wolf. “Don’t you go wherever you please?”

“Not always! But what’s the difference?” replied the Dog.

“All the difference in the world! I don’t care a rap for your feasts and I wouldn’t take all the tender young lambs in the world at that price.” And away ran the Wolf to the woods.

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