Friday, October 16, 2009

Children Are you Still Feral

Last night I asked the old man if there could possibly be feral children running around, you know the kind that run with the wolves and tigers, the kind that don't know language, the kind who scratch. In the old man's cynic ease he said something about terrible parents who abandon their children, you know, of course there are feral children running around. Who is the cynic here: the one who thinks the world is too picked over, that there is no more such thing as being feral OR the one who thinks a feral child is a product of the ultimate human abandonment. I have a friend who went backpacking around the world and she said that everywhere she went, she stepped on a soda can or plastic bottle, even in freezing temperatures, even in the jungle.

I started Bhanu Kapil's Humanimal last night. The text itself is kind of strange, switching between a large print narrative, the writings of Reverend Joseph Singh (the man who found two girls living among wolves), and Kapil's journey through her research of the two girls' story as Singh tries to make them upright. I couldn't take my eyes off the photograph of the two girls, given to Kapil by Singh's great-great-granddaughter. The girls are lying naked on top of animal pelts (?) or blankets in the middle of perhaps a grassy field/road next to a white building. They are both little and their hair is shorn to their scalps. One of the girls sleeps fetal and the other sleeps over her. I want to be both of them at the same time, their comfort and discomfort, long toes, longish arms, someone you don't want to put a blanket over.