Sunday, October 31, 2010

"The werewolf" (Happy Halloween!)

So, here's the deal: I'm a werewolf.

Of course, being one, I know that a werewolf is no more a "wolf" than a koala bear is a bear, or a guinea pig is a pig. It's just a case of convergent evolution that makes a primate look somewhat wolf-like; similar to the way a marsupial mole, which is more related to wombats than moles, looks very much like a regular garden-variety mole. The similarity goes beyond appearances so that the werewolf exhibits some very wolf-like behaviors. Except for the urge to be a part of a pack. Werewolves are not very social with one another. And those computer-generated "werewolves" seen in recent sappy, love-sick teen movies... those would just be "shape-shifters" turning into wolves, if they were real. Which they aren't! They are really pretty insulting to us. I suppose it's just entertainment; not to be taken too seriously. Not that all this explanation has anything to do with anything. It's just in my nature to ramble on about things no one really cares about. If you encounter one of us these distinctions will not seem important.

I first discovered my "talents" as a teenager when I was surrounded by a pack of feral dogs in the woods where I roamed as a youngster. I have always had a "problem" with dogs. It's not that I don't like them, exactly, but there is some primal rivalry there. And when I see dogs my teeth ache and an almost overwhelming urge to bite them rises up inside of me and settles in my jawbones under my teeth. At least that's the only way I can describe the feeling.

Anyway, back to the feral dogs. They had me treed, without a weapon. But as I sat up there a change began to take place. I can't say for sure that it was a physical change that time, but it was certainly a change. I began to growl deep in my throat, without even intending to. The dogs became unsettled. Instead of looking at me as something to attack, they began backing away from the tree while still watching me. My fear was evaporating as the dogs became more uncomfortable. Suddenly I just got out of the tree and the dogs took one look at me and ran. Fast! They never bothered me again, which was a relief as they had made my wanderings less pleasant than I would have liked.
This part of my nature has saved me from aggressive dogs on several occasions. My lip curls, my teeth are bared, and the growl wells up from inside. The dog backs down.

There have been other times the werewolf has manifested itself as well. I know I have always had a tendency to howl at the moon. People just thought it was a quirk. They had no clue at the compulsion I felt and how I felt if I repressed the urge. It was almost as if I were drowning if I didn't let myself howl. A feeling of becoming something different- something "other"- would then flow through my entire body. It felt good. It was also a relief.

I soon discovered that if I were joking around with people, growling, and generally acting like a wolf, and if I didn't stop soon, it would take over. I would become animalistic and my human side would be submerged and become almost unreachable. It would be very hard to stay tame and to change back. Honestly, it scared me a bit the first few times it happened. I have mostly gotten control of that now. As long as no one backs me into a corner.

I think only one person who knows me has really seen the "werewolf me", and then only once. My first ex-wife was reading once when I entered the room. For some reason I growled and leaped in as I did. She screamed and recoiled so severely, with such an expression of terror on her face, that I panicked and looked behind me, certain from the reaction she gave that an indescribable demon was at my heels about to grab me from behind. Nope. It was just me. I tried apologizing but it wasn't very effective. And I was still terrified, too. I then knew this power I had needed to be controlled and kept hidden. I think I've done fairly well. But it is part of the reason I need large empty spaces to roam. I can't keep the werewolf bottled up all the time, and letting it out around people is a problem. Even at night.

It is still mostly dogs that seem to "know", and who trigger my "toothache" by their presence. You can't be expected to understand the craving to bite them that flows up my body and settles underneath my teeth. It feels as though my teeth will pop out of their sockets if I don't satisfy that urge.

So, the next time that person in line next to you seems to give off a different vibe, or seems a little wild and dangerous, listen to your instincts. Not all werewolves refuse to initiate force. Some may be authoritarians.

No comments:

Post a Comment