The Ecstatic Name

Why words don't have to matter. Written 10.29.05.

I was thinking about a jaguar last night but I wasn't being one because I'm not one. I have spots and a big long tail and I can write. Most people with tails can't write, but I can.

'Cos I'm a person too, an animal person. I look at a picture of a leopard and that's a person inside my head. Not a leopard, not a cat. An animal and a person with their own reality beating thump-thump in their body and their blood, thumpthump like a drum, a heart of a drum, a drum of a heart.

I was leopard and I'm a leopard and that's something that the 26 letters on my keyboard don't write down. That's something runningandhiding, all at once, so it becomes one word; and that's something with fur that's very yellow, and eyes that are very shiny, and a tail that's only my coccyx but it's my tail. That leopard is something movingquick and eating carrion, and being with hyenas and being with lions and being scared. The cat comes right out of my mouth sometimes and I shock myself and other people can see it. But cats are supposed to be subtle. Or they're supposed to be purring or sarcastic or mean or not-PC or pagan or friendly. Cats, though, are only cats.

I'm just cat, that doesn't have a name. Cat is a word and therefore it is a name. But it's a being, not a naming, it just IS. So I can call myself Quil and a leopard but it's not myself, it's some words. That's a problem. I'm not autistic either. People take a lot of words and they mush them up and it's certain kinds of animal, like contherianthrope. Very much bullshit. When I'm an animal I'm an animal, that's all.

Therianthrope is a really stupid word too because new words are stupid. Old words work okay, you don't have to make new ones. So I can call myself a leopard word, that low back-in-the-throat word, that is my name. I'm saying my name constantly. So I don't forget. My name could be Hhhhhhhrr or it could be Chhhirrrruhhhrr, but that's making it into 26 letters so that's stupid too. There is no kittycat alphabet.

My name is me, that's all the name I have.

And I'm a boy. I'm going to seek my fortune, my territory, like leopard boys do when they grow up. I'm not a leopard boy, I'm straddled between leopard and human, which is an old thing and which is a hard thing.

It's not hard when I have furry mice that I can play with, or a place to run in, or a balloon or a friend. It's hard when I'm cold and wet and I'm still an animal and I just want to be nothing at all, but I have wet fur, AND wet skin. But that's okay.

I could look in the mirror just now. A reflective glass. Yeah, let me look at myself.

I look like a cat. Not in the sense that I have whiskers, or particularly catlike faces, or whatever. I have cat eyes. Some human beings have pretty green eyes, and mine are brown, but they're cat eyes because there's a cat behind them looking out. I look out at a lot of things, a few days ago I was walking to my school and in my head I was on four legs, but in my body I was on two legs.

Cat is a physical thing and it's shitty when my cat physical thing doesn't apply to my human one, because then I have to work at phantom body parts or making myself whiskers out of thin air. Every time I take cat out I make myself new whiskers because I can't feel the old ones. The old ones are perfectly gone, although I was never old anyway, being that I'm younger than everybody else. And I'm still older somehow. Maybe oldest. Because before gods there's animal/human and then animal and human last. And maybe plants before that, according to Darwin. Science is so COOL!

I was thinking about jaguars, but I'm what's called a leopard. Panthera pardus. Probably some subspecies, but I'm too lazy to figure it out, although I'm an Africa cat. Leopard is, in order (no particular order, just an order):

Cat eyes
Big/small depending
With black spots of varying size and shape
With a tail that is long
Usually yellow
Demanding precision
Doesn't like confrontation
Territorial (a lot)

And I associate with leopard: fire, and coals, and also water that moves fairly fast, and sharp stones—magnets, stars, bodies in velvet fur, stars closely clustered like spots, and blood and gods and trees and spit and shit and hair and bacteria and death.

My animalness isn't calm. It's electricity and light bare paws and bright white teeth and I can't think of anything else. It's very mundane, animalness, and ecstatic at the same time. I could look at it as perfectly ordinary or I could see in it those stars and the trees and the gods. I could use all this stupid imagery because I don't have symbols on my keyboard a growl and a laugh, and I can't take you into my head as such, but I can damn well try.

THIS is a cat. THIS is me, and a cat, and ultimately it's neither about New Age rituals or savage killings, because every single bit of that is bullshit. Leopard doesn't just go in there and hang out, leopard pushes me and pulls me and tells me to start living, and you better start living too and you and you and you.

Living as a leopard does have to do with all of my parts. I'm being a leopard when I'm uncomfortable and when I'm in school and when the mailman rings the doorbell. My being is a leopard. This is a leopard's human body. This is a leopard's human world.

And it's all right with me for now.

This is pardus, this is human, this is something funny that doesn't belong to either of them, like the little bits of crow and fox and wolf and snake that stick to be when I decide to be them that day, called shifting. This is Quil the conglomerate shitbag weirdo kid adult CAT CAT CAT CAT animal-person, but names are like adjectives, not nouns. It's just another word, and I am another anonymous leopard, a young human Quil leopard. See, Quil is indeed an adjective.

As I said, what am I? What is this? I'm electricity, light bare paws, blood, gods, coals, shit, and bacteria. I'm not savage killing or calmness, and I'm not bullshit. I'm not a crow, a fox, a snake, or a wolf. I'm a very ordinary ecstatic young-man human writer leopard, and true, it's not the best thing in the world.

But that's all right with me for now.

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