Years ago — the record is here somewhere — I decided that to be able to write I needed to get out of the house.
That wasn’t exactly wrong. I had identified the fact that I needed to set regular hours and that the kids being late high school and college were in and out at all sorts of odd times, interrupting the flow of words.
The problem is the place I picked, which was downtown Colorado Springs (half an hour walk from then-home) on Bijou, between Tejon and Nevada (I think.)
You see, I hadn’t realized the building in which I rented a one-room office I could afford at the time was depopulating. And also that it had no doorman or guard of any sort, and being near the library was subject to strange people wandering the halls. I think it was $250 a month for my little one room, and we made it very pleasant, and for about a month it was great, even if my mind was slipping from hypothyroidism.
The thing is, the little room had no bathroom, so I had to leave my office to go to the bathroom a couple/three times a day.
I think I realized two or three days in that the names on the door were actually old, and that many of the offices, like the psychologist across from mine, were actually long-gone.
The building was mostly empty, and then it lost the thing that kept it alive: being used for meetings by AA. And the hallways started to have… interesting characters.
One day I was leaving my office to go to the bathroom, and stepping out I met with a man who looked… well…
It wasn’t that he wasn’t human. He was. It was that he was a feral human.
I’ve been in situations where people were directly threatening me, where I wasn’t as scared as just with a glimpse of that man’s face. He was human, but as though the long slate of human civilization had been wiped clean. There was no higher self, no mercy, no thought. He was as blank and feral as an infant, driven by impulse.
I retreated into my office before the impulse acted.
Looking through a crack near the hinges, I saw him standing there, staring at the door, hunting me. Like a cat waiting for a mouse.
I could have called my husband, waited for him to come get me. But I needed to get to the bathroom and I wanted to get out of there. It occurred to me to play an audio book that was read by a man and sounded like someone talking, REALLY loudly.
It worked. Five minutes later, he was gone. The idea the office was probably larger and a male might come out didn’t sit well with him. He apparently only hunted smaller and older.
I waited a little longer, went out carefully, and ran out of the building, to the street, then home. That was the last time I worked in that office.
Did I make too much of it? No. There was no security in that building, and I understood why the little offices, usually occupied by a person, alone, were emptying. If I’d had a buddy in town who’d share the office with me, particularly a male, who would walk with me to the bathroom and wait outside, that office was tenable. As it was, though? No.
As for the feral man? Who was he?
I don’t know. Maybe drugs were involved. Almost for sure drugs were involved, but I didn’t get the feeling just then. He was homeless, for sure. Not overly clean. Not wasted from drug use. He was wearing clothes and carried a backpack, but the feeling was like looking in the eyes of a feral ape. Not even the zoo ones. They had more … humanity.
This came to mind as I was reading about San Francisco Poop Maps.
The belief these days, about humans, is that we are the apes that domesticated ourselves. Sure, of course, natural selection, but I wonder how much of that. Natural selection is relatively slow, and the ferals, which we largely know as psychopaths tend to still leave lots of children. Women fall in love with convicted murderers and marry them on death row. Etc.
A lot of it, I think, is raising.
Cats and dogs left to hunt for themselves from an early age, go feral. Hogs more so. And hogs, like us, are scavengers.
For years now we’ve gone soft on feral behavior. From children, too. We’ve refused to curb the “Want” and “Impulse” under the belief that the natural man is some kind of angel. Having children raised by strangers that couldn’t care less is not helpful.
But now we’re doing the same to the adults. There is a difference between compassion and enabling.
We all know of addicts who use compassion as a weapon to get to what they want. I’d argue that’s the way of feral man. Wheedle and creep until you can pounce and tear. Except that they don’t even need to wheedle and creep.
In Denver as in CA (and because the state was taken by the same kind of pettyfogging day-dreaming, too wealthy to understand harsh realities party) they’ve now made pooping on the streets legal, because they don’t want people to be deported for “just that” as though people who ignore a basic rule of human decency and public hygiene were precious resources to keep around.
They’ve already made vagrancy and begging de-facto legal.
And I’m sure they plume themselves on their compassion. But what they’re actually doing is being nice to the ferals and encouraging them to make everyone’s life miserable, and to drive away small businesses, to drive women from public spaces, to destroy the fabric of society.
Man is the self-domesticating ape. How many feral humans can our very wealthy society tolerate?
I’d bet not as many as the lotus-eaters at the top think we can. And when the productive people get tired, it will get very ugly very fast. Civilized man always wins over the ferals and the apes, who are incapable of loyalty higher than a small band. They also, arguably, always win over the lotus-eating mandarins.
It’s a story as old as time, but it will still surprise the heck out of those who think that in feral they’ll find the noble savage.
When in fact it holds nothing but destruction, including of the feralized individual. You see they are not WILD apes. Not really. Only feral. Just like abandoned cats and dogs aren’t wild animals, just animals who’ve learned to get what they want from human society while not submitting to it.
If society, and our present abundance falls, the ferals will go as fast as the pampered. They have no ability to fend for themselves more than the pampered do.
And neither they nor the mandarins will ever see it coming.