“Only with the human does there appear transcendence of consciousness in relation to things, or vice versa. Animals are the absence of transcendence. The animal is in the world like water in water.” — Georges Bataille
When I was 18, a man almost a man, I opened the door to our apartment on the edge of the everglades and discovered the living body of an alligator. It stood there looking me in the eyes, its jaw peaking open to a mouthful of arbitrary teeth, its eyelids within its eyelids flickering. I held the door handle and I could feel its texture, its metal gnawed where our dogs chewed through the thin, reflective brass plating. The texture of the handle felt rough and good as it tested the skin on my palm. My hand shook down into the handle as I thought about the gator doing that to my reflective bones, its teeth grabbing my reflective skin, twisting off loose chunk after loose chunk, spinning its whole body like a corkscrew before breaking to let a hunk of torn, twisted flesh down its reflective throat hole. Grooves folding into grooves in a harsh ecology of funhouse mirrors….
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