In the heat of a 7:06 tea kettle, in the charbroiled scrub that’s been smudged of its spirits, a coyote is.
But beyond the mere occasion of its being, past the confluences of her flea bites and her gnarled gut’s contents (scat, Parliament butts, finch fetuses), there is her being there in front of me. The gamma rays to Bruce Banner, or the manna to so many hungry Hebrews. Had that coyote’s teeth been sunk gum deep into my perineum she would have made no less an impact. In our meeting was the juncture of my sciatica and her sciatica. My college debt and her ringworm. The near burning of Santa Barbara right down to Foothill road and the last hidden hickory smoked rabbits along the fenceline there had brought us together: two privileged ghosts feeding upon the quick and the dead. I hoped our agents would negotiate a deal for our own Freaky Friday rip-off. I’d be her Jamie Lee Curtis and she would have to learn the responsibilities of Homo Sapien Santa Barbaran adulthood including how to fumble for one’s camera when seated in front of the Coffee Bean on State when a lank Merseybeat suited gent with an eyepatch and cane comes swishing by. And I would learn that the marrow of a raccoon’s crushed pelvis is sweeter than the Coffee Bean’s soy milk. Better yet, maybe that coyote could be my Teen Wolf and I would become her on full moons or during ravaging wild fires, whichever occurs more frequently.
Like a coral reef, I am made up of a million non-complex and brainless social network friends-I carry them with me like nightclub handstamps to Monday morning staff meetings. And yes, though I might wash them away, I would risk disturbing the Moray Eel of my first half dozen unsuccessful forays into sexuality. And our two reefs, that coyote’s and mine, like chem.-trail bridal trains pointing to Vandenberg collided. We met like Charlie Brown’s kite and the kite eating tree. The Titanic and the Black Ops OSS submarine that the Illuminati covered up, the Hindenberg and the kite eating tree, or a tazer and the “Don’t Taze Me Bro” bro. And our coral lives, despite their disparities of chromosome and libidinal desire are alike their in finitude.
Our deaths, for all the hard work and hand wringing of Bono and Angelina, are assured. One of us will be killed in a home invasion/refrigerator burglary and the other will be shot by an anti-coyote-abortion Fundamentalist Christian. Death, like Goya’s Chronos or the person with allergies eating popcorn behind you in the art house showing of Carl Dryer’s The Seventh Seal, will devour us loudly, but not before we have both jumped the shark. I will have begun singing Neil Diamond at Karioke in self righteous fervor and the coyote will have dwindled into an irrelevant and bitter spiritual malaise where its last twisted piety is looking down its snout on coyotes who love the ‘wrong’ way. And when we have both been discarded by the world and sent to our respective and appropriate hells, we will think fondly of the same ’98 Eldorado faux leather seat heat of the Santa Barbara foothills.