Thursday, September 3, 2009

Recluse-Sapphire Cordial

I typed the word “recluse” into google image search and the first full page was filled with brown recluse spider pics and brown recluse spider bite pics. No images of  26 year old girls cursed with wanderlust, or representations of  avoidance of previously frequented social situations that seem pointless and counter-productive.

There was however, a photograph of 31 year old Li Guoxing, an unfortunate Chinese dude who was attacked by a bear in 2006 and afterward became a recluse due to the disfigurement of his face. The picture (if you really want to see it, google his name) is pretty grisly/grizzly (sorry, I couldn’t help myself), but out of some morbid curiosity I took a closer look and found out that Gouxing later became the second ever recipient of a face transplant. Dangg.

Any time something bizarre like this catches my attention, I assume it as some sort of teaching or sign and try to relate it to my own life somehow. There is the obvious “be thankful for what you have” lesson, which is always valid, but as I was considering this in comparison to my recent afternoon spent alone in a graveyard, from which I took a similar introspective deep breath, I read that in July of 2008, Li Guoxing died. Aw, man.

I’m not really sure how to feel about this. I was trying to find more recent pics of him, to see how he healed up after the surgery. I was rooting for him. Now I feel let down (thanks a lot internet, for not telling me of his fate in the first place) and even sadder at his awful circumstances. If he’d stayed a disfigured recluse he would probably still be alive (though there was no autopsy performed, so his actual cause of death is undetermined), but he probably could have written a gripping “I survived” style auto-biography.

So I guess I’ll knock on wood and present myself with the following question: Would I want to live if I were cut off from all human contact? Granted, that’s a very extreme example of “recluse”, but for argument’s sake lets say I signed some kind of deal with the devil where I got to keep my face (I don’t even want to take into account how that kind of disfigurement would effect my psyche), but was not allowed any human companionship, ever. No friends, no lovers, no one.

Right now, when I choose to be alone it feels healthy and welcome, but honestly if there were no option I don’t think I could make it. At first I’d read all the books I’ve been putting off reading, I’d write and draw and make crazy sculptures. But after a while, I think I’d lose all my inspiration and become sullen and start to lose my mind (unless maybe there was a clause where I was still allowed go on Facebook.). After a longer while I’d probably die of a broken heart.

So I think the lesson here is thanks-giving after all. I’m thankful I have a curiosity of new places. I’m thankful for all the seemingly non-productive social situations I can choose to attend. I’m thankful I’ve never had a run-in with a bear or had to have plastic surgery, and last but not least, I’m thankful that I’ve never been required to choose between two absurd extremes and report my decision to Tim Curry.

That was a close one

1 comment:

  1. A woman was attacked by a chimp not too long ago. It's a terrible story. Many people seem to think she may be the next person to have a face transplant, last I read she was staying in a hospital where the first one had been performed.

    The woman went over to her friends house, her friend had a 15 year old chimp. Like people chimps become snotty teenagers. To calm him down the owner gave the monkey some XANAX, and when her friend came over the monkey ripped off both of her hands and pummled her face. The owner stabbed the monkey and hit it with a shovel, neither fazed him. The police had to shoot it to death.

    Apparently the monkey had escaped before and terrorized the town. A few years ago another monkey disfigured a man by ripping off his nose and genitals.