The Siren Song of the Woods

12370967_10153323844227683_2392300241454280924_oI met a guy at the psychiatric hospital, a middle-aged man named Blue. He loved his family, and he liked his job. But he preferred the company of trees. He longed for the woods at work, and he longed for the woods at home. Everybody wanted his attention, and everybody deserved his attention. But he wasn’t interested in what they had to say; he was interested in what the animals had to say. He strained to hear their voices, and longed to speak their language.

His wish came true last Thanksgiving. The family gathering was killing him. His face was sore from smiling, and his small-talk maker was sputtering. So he excused himself to “get some air” and wandered off into the woods. When he returned from his walk, he discovered, much to his chagrin, that he had lost the ability to communicate with human beings. His wife’s increasingly worried attempts at speech sounded like complete gibberish to him. When Blue spoke, it sounded sensible enough to him. But only to him. To everyone else, it sounded like madness. The harder he tried, the more the kids cried.

By Christmas, he’d lost his job, his family, and his mind. This is what happens, you see, when a man heeds the siren song of the woods.

—John Faithful Hamer, The Myth of the Fuckbuddy (2016)

About John Faithful Hamer

John Faithful Hamer is a college professor who still can't swim, drive, or pay his bills on time. His sense of direction is notoriously unreliable, yet he'd love to tell you where to go. His lack of practical skills is astounding, and his inability to fix things is renowned, yet he'd love to tell you what to do. His mismanagement of time is legendary, as is his inability to remember appointments, yet he fancies himself a philosopher and would love to tell you how to live. He wouldn't survive in a state of nature, of that we can be sure; but he's doing quite well in the big city, which has always been a refuge for the ridiculous, a haven for the helpless, and a friend to the frivolous.

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