Every once in a while I need to escape the madness of the city (or that of which I create) and head out to the Farm House. It’s a piece of property owned by my good friend Smitty. The perimeter of the acreage is covered in pine trees and blackberry bushes creating an isolated utopia and making it a choice retreat. I have spent many nights out there under the stars unwinding and clearing my head.
One night at the Farm House while drinking liberty cap tea I made an unlikely best friend, Scratch. Everyone knows my general dislike for cats mainly because I am allergic to them, but also because my family’s email threads consist primarily of YouTube videos, stories and jpegs of them. I simply don’t get it. Cat people are weird.
Let’s get back to Scratch, the amazing little tabby cat that changed my perception of this shithole we call Earth. Late one night while at the Farm House I sat quietly in the tall grass with my legs folded and my hands in my lap. I was staring up at the night sky and admiring the fractals that were systematically dividing the universe into a spider web of dimensions. I had one of those moments where you realize everything is bullshit and nothing really matters on a long enough time line and that our existence is futile (Ed Norton, Fight Club). Then I felt a warm wet sensation in the palms of my hands. I looked down and there was Scratch meowing and sitting up in a very proud stance. She had killed a mole and brought it to me as a gift. This tiny dead creature, still warm with blood was laying lifeless in my hand. It was like the scene from Jesus’ Son where Billy Crudup and Jack Black “save” the baby bunnies… I had a revelation. Besides everything being bullshit I realized that life is about the little moments. These otherwise insignificant times make it all worth it and we spend too much time pondering the grandeur of the universe instead of enjoying it. Humans are idiots.
This leads me to Bambi, Bendi and Baby the three goats that live on the property. They are the most recent addition to the Farm House and have done a thorough job of clearing the brush in just under a few months. Goats are amazing creatures driven by one motive and that is hunger. These crazy eyed little fuckers will eat anything and everything they can get their dirty little fangs on including my shoes.
Bambi is obsessed with my camera and chasing Scratch around. Bendi is a mean old goat and she loves to bully Baby around. Bambi is the youngest and loves to sneak up behind people and not so secretly eat their clothes.
I was at the Farm House this morning reading the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine and enjoying a cup of herbal tea when the goats began heckling me for food. Smitty keeps a giant container of oats that these little suckers go ape shit over. I decided not to feed them and grabbed my camera instead.
The shit show started as soon as I opened the gate and Bendi jumped on my back while Bambi went for my camera. I was not awake enough to deal with these little fuckers. It was 7:30am and the caffeine hadn’t kicked in so I decided the best thing to do was run. I ran up the hill and into the bushes with all three goats in tow (Scratch was high up in the trees watching all of this happen). This became a game. They wanted food and I wanted pictures so we made a deal. I would entice Scratch to come down and play so Bambi could chase her and I would chase Baby around. Bendi decided that we were all idiots and she found a nice early morning sunny spot and laid down. She was not herself this morning.
I got some great shots, but most of all I realized that animals are not stupid, that everyone needs to slow life down. We need a little bit of fun and excitement, a break from the daily grind whether it is a walk in the park or running with goats. We need love. We need someone to play with. We need to laugh at life and feel emotions. Everyone needs companionship. Everyone and everything has needs beyond the basics.