Digital comic of a lifelong dream-induced delusion (first sketched 1994/5/4, finished 2007/12/12!) by Chris Wayan
I've written a bit about feeling like I'm the wrong sex, and even the wrong species (with severe chemical sensitivities, I can't eat most human food, or even stay in many human houses). But gender and species dysphoria isn't quite the whole story. You see, I have this persistent feeling I'm under cover--hiding my real identity and origins, even from myself.
I decided to sit down and draw this out and feel this out. What emerged surprised me: I see myself as a small animal's soul that's been reincarnated for half a dozen lifetimes now in human bodies. But this isn't reincarnation Hindu style, reincarnation as a sort of spiritual promotion. It's just disguise--or perhaps adaptation would be fairer. The best I can do under adverse ecological circumstances.
What I'm really feeling is... eco-dysphoria. A small tree-cat exiled by time, in the Land of the Junk Food Monkeys.
Once, I lived in the canopy's light--
hummingbirds, flowers and fruit,
far above the jungle floor
where ugly creatures shuffle in the gloom:
ground-bound hogs. And men.
I had great long-lashed eyes
to pierce the green depths
and fine silk fur to shed the rains.
Shaggy fragrant bark was my lover, my mother.
I was happy, in the green.
Sudly, sadly, I'm in a bar.
is tending bar.
(We lack the budget for
delirium tremens pink.
Sorry. Gray's all you get.)
I smell smoke. A rainforest burns in my paw.
I want my tree--
Brazil and Virginia? Yes, Virginia, there was a rainforest. It's easy for Americans to forget that once the whole Southeast was a vast subtropical forest nearly as dense and rich as Amazonia. And it was cut by druglords, though legally sanctioned ones: tobacco plantation owners! Its soil was poisoned, exhausted, eroded; its natives murdered, enslaved or pushed off their land. Sound familiar?
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