Places I’ve been remind me of people I’ve known.
Every time I drive by a UDF (United Dairy Farmer’s), the hue of burnt coffee fills my nose and I grin thinking about my dad. Roller coasters remind me of my best friend and how we felt the day we rode too many loops too quickly. Zoo’s remind me of ex-girlfriends.
Fashionably, I wore teal jeans the day my mom introduced me to caged lions and tigers and bears. She still has the picture and I still have the issues with being dressed like a Spirograph. Eventually, the smiling and splashing hippos made me forget my wardrobe. Rhinos made me forget to breathe.
For twenty years after that, I made the zoo as regular as holidays in the summer. That changed seven years ago when my brother and I shared the zoo with girls.
Imagine a blueprint to an architectural feat. Something revolutionary that will change the way people interact with environments on a global level; something like electricity that will make the world a better place. Something you created. Now imagine that same earth changing plan going up in flames from the start. The zoo was that perfect blueprint that looked great on paper, horrible in practice.
Our girlfriends at the time had jobs and college educations. That mattered about as much as ice cubes in Alaska. It’s not like they were zoologists but everyone likes animals, right?
By the time the four of us made the reptile exhibit, my brother and I were the Hatfield’s and our girlfriends were McCoy’s. They walked 10-feet in front of us, they giggled like five-year-olds who just heard a swear; once they even disappeared.
It was like getting pulled over when you didn’t do anything illegal … punished for following the rules. It felt so wrong that the zoo became a place I used to go.
Yesterday I went to visit the chimps for the first time since. I can’t say that I loved the sadness living in the silverbacks or the sideways turtle I still say was dead. But I loved my company, and I loved standing next to them as the elephant danced like a figure skater and the sloth on a tree looked at me like I was lunch.
When we chose our company poorly, we loath what we once loved. When our community – our zoo – is full of wild-life, the things we like become the things we love.
AMRAP 13 Minutes
5- Strict T2B
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