by Some Kid
An animal-less trip to the zoo.
|A man's bony elbow pokes me in the ribs. He is trying to pick up his screaming child as I stumble over his younger one. The hustle and bustle of the crowd reminds me of the old halls of my high school. Those four years weren't pleasant for me. I was hoping the zoo would bring back good memories.
I find myself in the midst of a mob moving at only 15 feet per hour. We are treading on asphalt, but I can't see it. There are too many people and my claustrophobia kicks in. I guess it's not technically claustrophobia because I'm perfectly fine in small places; it's just the small places filled with people I have trouble with. I suppose that has it's own name, but I don't know it. I don't know enough words.
There are bobbing heads of the Homo sapiens genus as far as the eye can see, but no animals. Where are the animals? Where are the cages? Every few feet, we pass by bathrooms with lion heads marking the men's' door and seals marking the ladies'. There are also countless concession stands selling commemorative plastic panda cups for eight dollars and lizard shaped Popsicles for four fifty. Nagging children pull most of the members of the mass off at the stands, but the same amount of people seem to take their place.
I am still in the middle of the crowd. Up ahead, I spot a side trail off this black highway and what appears to be grass. I try to push my way towards it, but the forward shuffling mass proves too strong a force.
I bump into the bony elbowed man again. I beg his pardon, but he is too distracted by another elbow, this time chunky, that smashes into his glasses. My apology would have been drowned in the murmur of the crowd anyway.
The horde thins and disperses.
I am finally free.
I take a step forward, but jump back quickly. I think to myself confused, 'Automobiles don't belong here.' I turn to face strong steel cylinders. I had exited without even realizing, and without seeing a single animal. I can't afford to spend more of my paycheck to try again, at least not today. I shuffle off in defeat.
I almost trip over a small child, but a man scoops her up in the nick of time. It's the bony elbowed man! He must not have seen any animals either; he was next to me the entire time. I share this idea with him and he replies, "Of course I saw animals. I spent 40 bucks to get my kids in that place."
"Alright, then which animal was your favorite?" I challenge.
He stares at me blankly for a moment and says, "The lemurs." Then he collects his offspring and ushers them off in a direction I guess leads to home.
I open my map, and just as I thought, there is no mention of lemurs.