Thursday, December 14, 2017

Missing Lizards

LizzardI miss lizards. Never thought I would think that, having been petrified of them, like most Jamaican women for a good part of my life. Until I had children and decided that I would not pass that irrational fear to them.

I miss seeing them skit around the house, big eyes peering as me as if wondering, “What is this huge monster”? I miss seeing them scurrying along about their business, daring to catch a fly or mosquito. The little brown lizards – so cute. The ones that Cloudy the dog liked to try to catch, but never did.

What goes on in the mind of a lizard? Happy to be a live and in the moment, not worried about tomorrow. Just concerned with surviving whatever threats present themselves in the moment, concerned about quashing their hunger, about their urge to procreate. And that’s it – no concern really, just lowing through their lives, brief to us humans, an eternity to them.

Even croaking lizards I miss. Sort of. Even in Canada, I still knock the picture on the wall tentatively before moving it; to make sure one doesn’t leap out from behind its home. I miss trying to figure out how close that croak is – right above my head? Or on the other side of the room? Or outside? How can something so small produce this big sound that strikes terror into nearly every Jamaican woman’s entire being (and some men too, if truth be told)?

There is nothing to fear but fear itself – fear of the lizard dropping on my head and becoming entangled in my lovely, kinky locks, it more frightened than me, fighting to be free. And in the fighting, getting more and more entwined, like the third strand in a braid. And as the lizard fights to get out, I imagine, its claws dig deeper. And we fight, the spectre of a life of a dead lizard in our hair forever looming.!

Why do I fear this? Has it ever happened to me? NO! But thanks to the gift of imagination, it could. And it has, in my mind. The lizard has no such thoughts.

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