Two Hundred Seventy-One

Early this morning, while I was trying to decide whether to get out of bed or stay there, imprisoned by the warmth, I had weird conversation with myself. I questioned whether anthropologists and their allies make too many assumptions while explaining what life was like in pre-history. My answers morphed into a scene in my head, involving an odd conversation, a dialog I felt I was hearing and watching unfold. Here is my attempt to replicate in words, that experience:

The early human thawed quickly under the infrared heat. When, after he thawed, he began to move, my jaw dropped. My surprise exploded into astonishment when he turned to me and spoke coherently, albeit haltingly and with an odd chemical-flavored accent. “Thanking for you. Colder is not for good feeling. Ingested your language asleep but aware; us together are talking now, accept?”

I understood what he was saying, I just didn’t believe what I was experiencing. It took only twenty minutes, though, for him to explain things to me that, when I share them later, will change the way we view ancient humans.  For example, very few early humans lived in caves; only the ones we would now call “commercial artists” lived in caves; the rest, like my new unfrozen friend, lived in make-shift shelters. The cave-dwellers’ cave art survives to the present day, while the more advanced people, whose art would rival Da Vinci, burned theirs at the end of their lives.  We think we know more than we do.

I think it’s possible I dreamed up an answer to a question I haven’t heard anyone asking. Then, again, I might be hallucinating. But so, too, might you.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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