America swirls the drain. The world is run by criminals. I don’t know where I’m going creatively. Chipped nail polish. Age. Weight gain. Time pulls me to the grave. OK, that’s a drag of a thing to write. But I don’t know where I’m going creatively. I saw a monkey at the San Diego Zoo studying the feces on his hands. It fascinated him. Or he was pretending it fascinated him. He sat himself in front of the viewing glass, looked at all the people looking at him, and I swear to you, started playing with the feces on his hands to gross everyone out. He shared a habitat with the orangoutangs. The oldest one, the alpha. 42 years old. He looked like a sad version of Maurice from the Planet of the Apes movies. All of the animals in the zoo looked sad. Zoos are inhumane. The Reptile House was the saddest of them all. The reptiles lay tangled in small cages, pressed against the furthest corners or hiding altogether. Nobody likes to be watched for a living.
Except the penguins. They were having a ball. But they’ve only been there since June. Everything is new. They swam happily and played joyfully bumping up against the reinforced glass as children banged their little fists and adults dangled bracelets the penguins tried to catch. I wondered if they would tire and grow as jaded as the other animals.
In the Panda Exhibit the youngest panda went out of his way to defecate at the crowd. He came out from where he ate and sat on the closest branch with his back to the crowd, urinated and defecated, then returned to his place near his enclosure.
In spite of these things, there were a few magical moments. A male gazelle approached me where I stood and stared at me while he ate from a tree. It was strange and wonderful. Not many people watch the gazelles. But they seemed as smart as they were graceful, muscles on top of muscles moved over sinewy limbs. A baby was born only two hours prior. I couldn’t see it, but just knowing it was there was cool.
It made me appreciate and respect my animals more. My cats aren’t human babies and I think I do them a great disservice when I treat them that way. Nevertheless, we’ve been together nearly 15 years. When I returned home they greeted me at the door and followed me from room to room. Chloe, my calico, waited at my feet until I picked her up. She’s always done that. When her head was bigger than her body I remember looking down at her little face when she was eight weeks old as she waited to be held. My husband read somewhere that domestic cats remain in a perpetual state of kitten-hood. As I sit Charlie, my orange male cat sleeps, paw stretched out pressed against my leg. He often sleeps that way. So, it’s hard not to think they’re not human. Or human-like. Or that they have achieved some kind of sentience through our relationship to them.
I don’t know. This is where it ends today. I don’t know where I’m going creatively. I’ve written a web series I will produce this fall. Stay tuned for that. I’m working on a feature, or a play. I’m not sure what it is yet. It seems to be a hybrid. I guess those are things. I just haven’t written in them in a week. And I have no way of knowing if they’ll ever see the light of day. But, build it and they will come, yeah? Yeah. Otherwise, there’s nothing.
I’m a depressive by nature. I can’t help but feel as if we’re all doomed. Aren’t we? Doesn’t it all prove out? I have to shake this off. Today I drive to the City of Industry for a gig where I have to look ten years younger and act even younger than that. Beauty and youth are commerce in my line of work. You never go looking how you feel. I’ve seen the girls who do that. There are a lot of them actually. I don’t know if they know that when they don’t wash their hair, or finish their makeup, or where clean black, they look like they feel. They look like I feel.
Do you know where the City of Industry is? I’d never even heard of it. It sounds terrible. City of Industry, like a place for car dealerships and massive pharmaceutical complexes. Aren’t those the only industries that make legit money anymore? I used to work for a company that shot talking head videos for pharmaceutical companies. They were inner-office video memos and training videos. That was 15 years ago. That industry is dead. The professional video servicing industry. It got replaced by college students with a camera and Final Cut Pro. Cheaper, faster, less is more.
I don’t know where I’m going creatively, see. I have this web series. I need to finish it, but it’s a comedy and I’m not feeling funny anymore. Or right now. And it’s probably not funny anyway. And what am I doing writing screenplays anyway? Well, everything else is harder. I just know how to do it well. I teach it. Did you know that? Yeah. I’m good at teaching it. I just figured I should finally do what I say. I know what I’m talking about. I don’t know. You wouldn’t know it to look at me, or even to read this, but I’m good at writing stuff. Maybe not today. But in order to write anything you often have to lower your standards just to get past the first sentence.
8 thoughts on “The San Diego Zoo and Other Thoughts”
Good stuff, my friend. Let’s get together soon xo
I love your last sentence. Hang on in there.
Thanks, Susan. I appreciate you leaving a note. We need to comfort each other in times like these.
You’re right – we do!
Amy, its going to be fine. Just make the best of one day, sleep, then do your best with the next day. Your hybrid of feature and play could be just that. Doesn’t have to be one or the other…..so long as the information gets out there somehow. Also, I hate zoos as well……I couldn’t understand the whole Giraffe Hype going on over April and her baby earlier this year (although I admit to peeking in occasionally online, and actually caught the birthing process as it happened which was pretty incredible actually as an event in itself) Aside: I was going to begin a series of videos about older women in social media, and debug the whole youth & beauty thing, concentrating instead of making the most of yourself as a person. I felt the whole arena needs a shot of authenticity from those that are over 40 – but I am not a warrior, heh. Anyway, yes, its a confusing world right now, but one day at a time we shall make it alright. We will.
That’s right. You’re right. I like the series of videos. I think about things like that, all the time. I even started one. But I think it’s somewhat disingenuous for me because, though I’m over 40, I work like hell to look less than 40 and I’m too vain to admit it. But I just did. Anyway, it sounds good. I’d watch it. Yes. One day at a time.
I just left a message on another post of yours that could just as well been a response to this post, so I won’t say it again, except I do believe better things lie ahead for you. As for the San Diego Zoo, last time I was there was with my mom 20 years ago. She got a great picture of me standing next to the elephant exhibit, with the closest elephant walking away from me — in other words, me standing next to an elephant butt. It has nothing to do with anything, but I guess I’m feeling wordy tonight, while actually having nothing substantial to say..hmmm…
Yeah, I’ve noticed that they always walk to the furthest corner of their exhibit. They always seem to be walking away from the people and turning their back on them.