Jungle isolation, day 192.
Spent a large part of the afternoon trying to gauge local opinion about Trump and his inauguration but the geckos just kept running and hiding from me. Perhaps they still blame me for the death-by-sick incident of one of their number.
I toyed with the notion of asking the spider in the kitchen about Trump, but it spends all its time on the web. Any opinion it may have is doubtlessly suspect- cobbled together from fake news sites and the like. I’d rather discuss politics with those whose views are more in the mainstream, to be honest.
This need to find out what the mainstream was saying took me out of the house and to what passes for a mainstream around these parts- a small, stagnant brook whose banks are colorfully decorated with empty plastic bags and cigarette packets.
“Excuse me- erm- frogs?” I asked, in a polite yet guarded manner. “I don’t suppose you’ve seen the news about Trump?”
“Read it. Read it,” they replied.
One large and particularly commanding bull frog croaked out “Trump!” but whether this was in support or protest is a moot point. It seemed silly to be asking, really. The local frogs never last long enough to have an informed view of the world before being captured and eaten by foraging villagers.
I stopped by the shop for water and beer, barely making eye contact with the woman behind the till. She stopped being delighted that I knew how to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you very much’ at least six months ago when I was unable to pronounce the word for ‘five’ and gave up learning Burmese entirely.
Night had fallen on my return and the geckos were all gone from their customary hiding places. Maybe I will try again tomorrow or maybe not.
The spider was still waiting patiently in the same position it has been in for the last nineteen days.
I didn’t wish to seem rude, so tried to make some small talk as I prepared a meal.
“And how are you this evening, Mr Spider?” I asked, nonchalantly, before realising what a ghastly faux pas I had made in projecting my own reactionary ideas about gender identity onto it.
It could be male, female or anywhere else on or off the gender spectrum. It’s far too small for me to make out its genitals in any case.
Its silence spoke volumes.
Whether it is also refusing to talk to me because it is siding with the geckos is doubtful- both are competing for the same food source, after all- the huge and numerous mosquitos that hang about downstairs, who are themselves competing for the same food source- me.
Two or three bites and it’s out with the DEET and Raid like you wouldn’t believe.