Back when we were cave people, we likely could sniff out a bad apple (person or fruit) pretty damn easily. We didn't talk too much, and we'd kept our senses alive. We smelled and touched and listened and tasted: we used our sixth sense--that prickle along the spine--to alert us that something very bad was coming. We watched the sky, felt the temperature of the ground around us, listened to the birds and the insects and the animals to corroborate our own feelings.
We knew things without having to read about them on Yahoo.com or in the SF Chronicle. We had animal instincts, animal intuition, and many of us have turned those instincts off because it's weird to be sniffing your car before you get into it. Why not just read the little messages the car sends you?
Right brake light off.
We don't sniff and touch and scrutinize people before letting them into our houses, though we should. We ignore that tremor of disgust or fear or apprehension as the person walks by us into the living room. The other day, my good walking buddy Sue and I passed by a man talking to a neighbor in front of his house. This house has been for sale for months, and it hasn't budged off the market, sitting there in its squat little 50's 3 and 2ness at the end of its driveway, seemingly waiting.
As we walked by, I had a very creepy feeling, some emotion or information passing through me, and I shivered. As soon as we were far enough away from the man and his neighbor, I said, "There is something wrong with that house."
Sue said, "Did you feel that, too?"
By the end of the walk, we had the man lined up as a serial killer, with rows of dead bodies in his basement (no wonder it hasn't sold), but likely he's just not someone we would want to be friends with or let into our houses. Our animal instincts told us that and we didn't even want that information.
Last night as I was watching John McCain crab around the town hall meeting, I had to push through my emotional reactions and irritation to realize that I have the same kind of animal knowing about him that I did about the man on the street. I can't smell John from where he was, much less through the television, but my animal inside knows that I don't want to let him into my house. I don't want to be his friend. I don't want to buy his house. I don't want him to be my president. I see it in his jaw and shoulders and his dark gaze. I see it in the way he moves his hands. Everything that makes him an animal tells my animal to run away. I hope I make it. I hope we all do.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org