The Fear of Desire

Years later, as I Poke around the corners of my own yard, I am reminded of the first time that I was confronted by a snake…As a little boy in a sub-tropical region, seeing a snake was one of my great desires.  Reading books, watching shows and hearing stories had prepared me for what should have been a magnificent encounter bordering on the holy.

But it was not….In only 8 years, I had built up a few certainties in life.  I like cartoons, baseball was fun, I loved the mountains, and I WANTED TO CATCH A SNAKE!  And then I found one…While traipsing through some tall grass, between two Oak trees, I passed through and looked back toward my mother.  It was at that moment that the  icy grip of fear poured into my body with glacial certainty….

The snake was thick bodied, and carried a distinct diamond pattern upon its back.  It was coiled up like a spring and appeared to have the energy of a freshly revving car….

I waved at my mom to stop…She backed up, walked around, and then saw what I had seen….I’m really not sure if we saw the same thing…I saw fear.  I saw murder and malicious intent in every flex of the snakes coils.  My mother just took me by the hand, met my father by the car, and we never went back to that particular spot again…

I really do like snakes.  I enjoy nature shows, seeing them at zoos, and have even had a boa draped across my neck.  Honestly, I’m still not sure what was in that grass. My mom saw a snake…what I saw was so much more…Perhaps I became aware of my own mortality that day.  Perhaps I’m just creating nuances to this memory that never actually existed…All I know is that fear stalked the grass that day and my life would never be the same…


9 thoughts on “The Fear of Desire

  1. Wow. Had a strong effect on you. Great read.
    When I was six there was a rattle snake in our garage in Atherton, CA. I still remember the snake catcher coming with his large fork to get the snake out. But I was the first to see the snake. My stepbrother pulled me back, or I probably would have tried to catch it. When I was in sixth grade I got to hold a pet boa. It wrapped around my pants though, and then got caught in the loops! I had to take my pants off and borrow other pants, so they could take the snake home with my pants! Who has that happen? Really. Oh, yes, me! Loved this. I like to read your writing. Different than your poems. 🙂 Sam is wide awake

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