I wrote this days ago, but in all the fuss surrounding the razing of the former Castle Shithole by hoardes of furious trees (apparently), it’s only just making its way into the actual journal. I can always lay my hands on a notebook– it’s just not always the right one.
Anyway, I thought about changing some details, but it just didn’t seem right. Here is an entry about learning to be a unicorn.
If my life has a theme, it must be dealing with contradictions, or at least ambiguities. I’m an academic. I’m out of time. I’m a fae. I’m a unicorn. Lately, the weirder things get, the more I am inclined to take them in stride (pun intended).
I remember my first day in Jasper like it was yesterday, yester-minute. Yester-me walked into a bar and asked all the questions everybody else asks when they first arrive there. Where am I, what day is it, what year is it, what has happened to me. Nobody had any answers other than here, now, we don’t know. And the people who most seemed to have answers have disappeared from my life; they are now yester-people.
I am still an academic, as evidenced by conversations with Nathaniel. We talk about literature and letters when some people might already be doing a bit in the bushes. He is very careful with me, and I think that’s silly, but maybe he is working from a level of experience I do not have. Well, definitely he is working from a level of experience I do not have. If I were more careful with myself, I might not end up in half the scrapes I’ve landed in since yester-me walked into that bar. So much of what I do is motivated by anger, resentment, a fierce refusal to let the laws of whatever place I’m in define me. But just as easily as laws night define me on the one hand, my defiance and need to speak up when things go wrong defines me on the other.
It’s uneasy, my gait. Yesterday, I spent all day as the unicorn. It feels almost as if the forest parts to let me through when I am the unicorn. I like the forest when I am the unicorn. On the opposite side of the river from Castle Shithole, there is a flower meadow, and then there is an open edge forest filled with old trees, ground packed with bark and leaves. It’s a good place to practice being me the unicorn. Some of the Demi-fae have noticed me and they talk to me when I am there. I take care with them. They are all very angry about the fire still, and no wonder: although the forest heals, it heals slowly. I touched a tree with my horn, and he said he could feel himself growing at my touch. The he laughed in a very peculiar way, and I thought it was best if I headed away to another part of the meadow.
I rode horses for a couple of summers in Forest School Camps, and I remember trotting being hard. But as the unicorn, it feels like a brisk walk, not very exciting, but something more than walking. Cantering, which was fun as a rider, is still fun, but it feels like I’m holding back. I have to keep my head tucked in to keep from speeding up. Running, galloping, which was terrifying at YesterCamp, is the most wonderful thing. My body, so full of power. Who knew?
I like the Demi-fae; they speak a sarcastic language I can understand. I don’t mind when they come around when I’m resting. And there is nothing like resting in a flower meadow just inside the shade after you’ve taken a quick dip in the water to cool down, I can tell you that much. Running is amazing, but it will tire you out.
Anyway, I can handle the Demi-fae. But I am sick and tired, even after one day, of the vapid woodland creatures and birds and their endless, smarmy oohing and ahhing. Seriously. I’d rather spend eternity with those two mouthy horses at Castle Shithole than a couple of hours in the presence of fawning bunnies and other awestruck animals and birds. Wtf, forest denizens. Get a life. I’m trying to have a nap here.
As an aside, why don’t humans like rolling over on their backs in piles of wood chips? Best. Cure for itches. Ever.
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