Friday, November 01, 2013

Pan Is Not a Gentleman

Pan is not a gentleman. Do not invite him in, thinking he will wipe his hooves. If you ask, count yourself lucky if all he does is smile, or chuckle a bit. The stink of him, a goat in rut, will settle like a fog and linger long after he’s gone.

He’ll bring friends too, will Pan. They will decimate your flowers, rummage through your compost piles and garbage cans, trample the inedibles under hooves and paws and claws. Their shit and piss will befoul your tidy walkways, burn your ground covers, erode your limestone accent rocks, and somehow always, always end up on your shoes. They’ll bare their fangs when you try to shoo them out of your prize-winning azaleas, chasing you back into your climate-controlled house, shivering, to seek out poisons or weapons. They’ll bite and sting, raising itchy welts that seep and scab, making you want to claw your skin off or lose a limb. They’ll chew away your foundations, infiltrate your kitchens, wander across your legs in the night, buzz against windows or your ear, and reduce your wooden porches to sawdust.

Pan is not a gentleman. He won’t care a bit for your Greek-inspired gazebos, your filtered water features, your decorative figurines of ducks and frogs. He’ll appreciate the gnomes a bit, recognizing them as tribute, but he’ll laugh at the bucolic dress, the pathetic attempt to hide his horns and hooves, his nakedness. 

He won’t break your rules; he will never bother to learn them. He won’t even know such things exist. Your boundaries and preferences, your focal points and accents, your easy access and parking lots, he won’t see them all. He’ll use them if he likes, and erase them if that’s better.

Do not ask for a little wildness, just around the edges of your life. There is no such thing. Vigorous roots will sink deep, vines will strangle your carefully manicured shrubs, lush, enormous leaves will sprout from branches or spring from the ground, soaking up the light and rain, draining all the nourishment from the soil, leaving your tender exotics to wither and desiccate. 

Pan is not a gentleman. He’s just life.