Understanding the Beast

There was a certain forlorn quality to his call. As I stepped out of my car I expected to see him in some state of debilitation, but he was not. He sat leaning against a great myrtle just off the roadside; far enough from the highway that I would not have noticed him if it wasn’t for that call. My glasses are obsolete, so it took me far longer than it could have to establish what I was seeing. As I discerned he sat patiently as if waiting for me.

I am quite a tall man myself, but he was taller. What I first saw as a long brown jacket, perhaps to protect against the growing wind, was actually a thick coat of fur that covered him head to toe. What I first saw as sunglasses, perhaps to protect his eyes from the unfettered spreading sun, were actually thick set eyes under a heavy brow. He sat with his knees tucked to his chest but an expectantly rigid back. He had an inhuman stare.

He called out again. I wasn’t sure anymore if he was calling to me. He seemed now to be staring off toward the road, aimlessly beckoning. I decided to approach him regardless. The noise he made was unlike anything I’d heard before. My mind raced as I tried to file it somewhere among the many noises in my memory. Perhaps something from a movie? Some sound described in text? In person it seemed alien beyond comprehension, and it defied categorization. I needed to better know its source.

As I continued to approach he began to take notice. He slowly moved up into a crouch, but did not shift from his place under that great tree. When I did not falter in my advance he stood tall. He absolutely towered over me and seemed to unfold and expand into a terrifying figure, hoping to formalize the relationship between us in no uncertain terms.

It was exactly in this position that I could see him the clearest. What I first saw as an animal body under thick feral fur, was actually a familiar human figure and proportions. What I first saw as brutal beast-like eyes, had began to show me fear.

I took him home with me that day. I agreed to co-habitate with that thing, that most would call “it” but I insist on calling “him.” I have yet to work out the details, but I know he at least deserves my respect. I don’t know that I’ll ever fully comprehend him.

Still figuring it out as I go,



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