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  • Writer's picturechristaleigh

According to Icarus

I read somewhere once that if you have a close friendship or relationship with someone for seven years, then, statistically speaking, they will be in your life for life. I think about that sometimes, and how flawed that study is. It doesn't take into account anyone I know who grew up in a transient world. Most of the people in my life, who are there for life, are people with whom I interacted or became close to over relatively short periods of time. Maybe people like me, people who were raised in a world where there's an expiration date on the proximity of every person in your life save for your immediately family- maybe we love differently. Maybe we don't need seven years to learn to value a real friendship or connection.

I read somewhere that every seven years, our skin cells are sloughed off such that the skin you're in now, your body was just creating seven years ago. I think about that sometimes, and I think about how comforting it is- and miraculous, really, of the body- to so gracefully repair the damage you did to it. Like that one spring break when, doing your best impression of Icarus, you flew too close to the sun and got burned. We've all been there, right? And you knew it was coming, the sting of it could be felt long before the slightest pressure of a hand would leave marble-white fingerprints on scarlet flesh. All that injury, every cell that singed and sizzled... sooner or later your body casts every last one of them off. And how kind of it to be a slow, quiet, unremarkable process- the only real evidence in the afterthought of dust on the windowsills. I like to think that, with a rigorous exfoliation regimen, we can coax our bodies to reveal that new skin in more like four years. I have no scientific evidence to back that up, but I do like a good sugar scrub.

I read somewhere that more people die by being attacked by hippos than by sharks every year. Sometimes I think about that. The sharks attack not because they're scary angry animals that prey on sunbathers, but because they're sharks, and they're hungry or feel threatened. If more people die by hippo, then it must mean that more people are stuck in a mud pit in the middle of nowhere than we think there are. It makes sense that people would be in the ocean, but what are people doing in places where hippos rule? And, I haven't ever interviewed a hippo (or a shark, for that matter), but I don't think hippos have it out for human beings. In fact, humans are the only species that really need a motive to kill; everything else on earth kills out of instinct, self-defense or survival. That's weird, isn't it? Because if animals killed the way people do, and for the reasons people do, we'd really all be in trouble. Also on the list of animals more likely to kill you than sharks: deer, cows and dogs.

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