Thought Catalog
July 26, 2016

My Spirit Animal: The Gnashing Of Claws And Teeth

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Victoria Zeoli
Victoria Zeoli

I’m in Budapest, traveling further and further east, further away, sitting in café, watching people walk by on the street. I’m alone. I can feel it. I can feel my spirit lunging toward others, clawing out for some sort of connection; I can feel my eyes transfix on certain characters, certain types. Women. Specific kinds of women. I feel a desire, a need. I feel the craving of want in my body, this all-consuming lust, this emptiness like the pain of the world in my heart. The heart wants what it wants. The heart is a lonely hunter.

What’s your spirit animal? What’s your spirit? What are you?

I identify as a fox — the Disney Robin Hood character, the cute but cunning hunter, foxy, clever, ______ like a fox. I love foxes. Maybe the woman I seek is a fox. But maybe it’s not me. Not exactly…

I also identify with birds, all majestic and soaring. Wide wingspans, gliding over the ocean. That type — solitary or with others, but wholly graceful and free. But I do not soar. No. I only dream of flying.

I plod. I stalk. I creep. I analyze and stare piercingly. I think deeply. I sleep and I eat; I kill when I’m lucky. Even while I don’t kill, I’m dangerous, threatening. I know why the caged bird sings, but I am not caged and I do not sing. I snarl. I howl.

I am a wolf now. A lone wolf. Grey. This type is me.

I have no friends. Not really. Not like the backpackers all around me, traveling together, in packs. I travel solo, like how I live. Sometimes I have a companion. Mostly I do my own thing, carrying on with what I like to think of as a quiet dignity. But really I’m an animal, a beast.

Yes, I’m a predator. I stalk prey. These women I see walking — I think one thing. Well, I think a few things, covering the gamut from carnal to romantic. My thoughts are about survival — I need love to live. I need sex like eating. Hungry like the wolf. But hunting is hard alone.

Wolves belong in packs. I once belonged. I had friends. But some wolves are chased out of their groups somehow, venture out on their own. Now my old friends ridicule me from afar; we argue. I am distanced. My perspective on life and politics and religion push away everyone. I have yet to find a new pack, something to which to belong.

Going out with others is the best way to meet new people, to survive. A loner is dangerous, not to be trusted, somewhat doomed. It’s good to be among acquaintances at least — it shows others that you can function normally, that you can have conversations, that you are decently stable at least. Together, you can join forces, hunt bigger animals, provide one another some sort of solace.

I drift further into wilderness. Have I become wayward? Unglued? I am at the whims of my emotions, my thoughts aimless. I am wounded, bleeding. I like myself, limp along in self-pity. Some people worry about me. What am I capable of now? What can I still accomplish? What conviction makes me? What keeps me going?

I live in the wild, becoming more feral. My eyes affix on deer, their long graceful legs, their heads tilted, their tails up in the air. I chase them. They get away. I find rabbits here and there, vermin. I curl up to sleep, my soft fur coarser, untouched, my dark eyes weakening. I sleep in the woods, in the snow, cold. I haven’t eaten in awhile. I’m world-weary, downtrodden, left to my own devices: the gnashing of claws and teeth, screaming at the unjust world. I howl at the moon. TC mark

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