“4/Exact Date Unknown/2008”

It has turned into a morning ritual to peel and orange, put it in a ziploc bag and bring it with me to snack on as I drive to work. For the longest time (at least six years, approximately starting at the end of my minor years) I have completely ignored even the thought of breakfast, let alone actually consuming it. I have recently discovered my passion for fresh Valencia oranges and suddenly all is back on track for morning eats, my body thanking me for this thoughtful decision. Anyway, on this particular morning, as I was enjoying one of the tastiest (and messiest) oranges I had eaten in a long time, maybe ever, I passed a slaughtered mess of roadkill on the interstate. It was such a bad case of an animal being dismembered by an automobile (I’m guessing Freightliner interaction) that I couldn’t even make out what it was. Raccoon? Opossum? Something larger, perhaps? I couldn’t tell for sure, for all that was entirely noticeable were the intestines. The coincidence of the timing in which I made eye contact with the strewn-about animal organs on the left side of the interstate was what made this morning such a singularly memorable one.

I was in the midst of the most enjoyable portion of the Valencia, the climax of my breakfast experience, when the inside’s of the unknown creature caught my peripheral attention and for that one moment, my mind transformed me to another place and time altogether. I was in the middle of a mountain forest somewhere far away from central Indiana and most likely distant from this country entirely. I sat alone by a small bonfire that I labored over in its creation hours earlier, staring off into the eye’s of the setting sun. A makeshift rotisserie that was flailing about a few inches above the flames, on it two fox thighs that would be my first meal in a handful of days, maybe more, it’s difficult to know exactly. I’ve never been one to even think about killing something, the most I’d ever murdered being a beetle, nothing to go and try to be distinctive about in round-table conversations any time soon…but I must have hunted down, gutted and skinned this fox, in the panic of survival. I looked down at my bare feet. They were black and I couldn’t feel them. I could barely see them from point-blank distance for that matter. I had never been this frail and thin before. No, I’ve always being the “overweight just a tad” fellow. I would spend the night on a flat rock picking meat out of my beard before I fell asleep, then commencing to dream about “I love you, scar” and things that would give me hope before waking up and realizing that my life will forever be a daily routine of me, myself and a vast, dead end space of mountain air to wither away in. I better hurry, I’m gonna be late for work. I don’t think I want to finish the orange this morning.

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