If I didn’t know better, I’d think that our pet lizard, Tequila, misses Mike. Since Mike has been gone, Tequila doesn’t want to eat… sometimes for days. I practically have to shove food in his face, and even then he often just turns away. If I leave the food on a plate in front of him, he’ll walk right over it.

This is sheer projection, of course. He’s a reptile — a black and white Argentine Tegu, to be exact — and lizards don’t bond with people, or even with other lizards. His behavior is driven by hunger or thirst or the need to warm himself in the sun. I know he doesn’t have emotions, isn’t capable of feeling grief or loss. Still, I’ll find myself talking to him sometimes, saying things like, “Look, I know you miss him but you still have to eat.”

And sometimes when I’m trying to feed him and he just sits there blinking at me, I imagine Tequila is thinking, “What happened to the man who used to take care of me, the man who always knew exactly what I needed?”

I know just how that feels.


~ by hourbeforedawn on April 2, 2010.

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