Psychopomp Magazine Winter 2015 - Page 36

34 | Psychopomp Magazine

anger and a finality to conflict. These are the people inlanders secretly wish they were. These are the people the timid imitate when they are alone with their spouses, or drunk enough to imagine they can dominate the pathetically more sober.

Forgive me, but even beyond profit I look for their arrival.

One season, years ago, one hunter back from a particularly disjointed hunt along the ridge farthest out, and yet still considered to be Unicorn land, took a fancy to me. For three weeks I was her entertainment. My wife quickly packed what she could think of needing and migrated cross town to her mother’s—and the Unicorn hunter and I extravagantly took over the house. I had to let the hired help run my business, and who knows what opportunities I lost during that time which is always normally filled with preternatural volume? But for those three weeks I hardly left our ungrounded bedroom; and, when I did get out, I was nowhere safe from her then-and-there immediate firebrand needs. I never got to the top of anything. We drank every ounce of Sorghum in the house, and twice I had to send out for more. Everything she did for the whole shackled time was an industrial process. For a week after she left, and the wife was cautiously back, we were finding lazily broken things, talking only of the physics of area, were restocking subtleties, trying to remember where the furniture had once been, and where we wanted it now.

The wife is still trying to become quick-pulsed attuned to all I learned in those three outlandish weeks. In places, she draws me back to our shopworn, habitual wants; in places, she takes the part of the gray area the ravenous Unicorn hunter left me, and tries to add it coyly to our mathematically inclined domestic rapture.

They can be wearying, but these Unicorn hunters give us so much. They separate themselves. They have a common list of attributes, a single-sized way of reacting, a single-sized way of being reacted to. You know what to expect, like it or not. You expect it. This a script you have seen before.

And, if you live on the edge of Unicorn country, you set your calendar by the hunt, adjust your trivial expectations, swap out the angels of your own character to match what you know is going to be needed to serve, profit, counterbalance, or simply reflect the disingenuous needs of massed Unicorn hunters.