Look me in the eye ..
The leap to predator, in fact, requires that you are able to focus on subtle cues. A change in the downwind scent about you. The movements of the shoulder muscle of the animal at the water hole that broadcast the prey animals intent. A predator is aware of the finest shades of meaning and detail.
Prey animals have little in common with those that feed upon them. Their highly evolved, chatty language which conducts their fear and anxiety within their pack or herd - will never grant them the singular ability to hunt. That focus, the willingness of the predator to ignore all about him and concentrate on being alive and aware for the split second. The ability to let out your breath when the trigger is pulled. A prey animal will never be able to escape the amygdalan response that floods their mind and locks them into the instinct to hide.
A predator enjoys, perhaps most of all - the subtle nature of the chase. A good predator always lives by that maxim - that its not the kill .. its the thrill of the chase. It is writ large within their very DNA. Killer whales strike at their prey and cut out the tongue, - simply scoring another kill in the hunt. Leaving the meat to fall to the ocean floor. Learning how to blow seals off the ice shelf by generating a wave. Hunting together, playing cat and mouse. Wolves - circle, stalkd and strike at the softest part of the animal - sarkazein. Predators often ignore the end result of the chase - you can see it in domesticated dog play - they simply stalk and hunt ea. other. The bites to catch are nipped on the ear. And then they start over again. The food is secondary.
Prey understands sacrifice. One by one the herd is winnowed down. One by one they are killed off. Their weak short term memory sacrificed at the altar of a long term false nirvana. Their only defense that they are in a herd and the outside ring will die. That they are, for the time being.. safe within their family. The predator imagines himself or herself in such position. Calculates where they will go. What they will do. And the prey will inevitably lose their battle. They will die.
My friend is wired to be a prey animal. He must constantly adjust himself. Despite the brilliant ability to remember names, addresses, telephone numbers, license plates - sonnets, sayings, books, images - he cannot bear to look in the eyes of anyone for long. He withers under the confrontational eye stalking of the predator animal. His short term memory is sacrificed for his long term nirvana of false safety. Ostrich sense takes over - "I cannot see you , so I am safe from your tampering with my emotions". And yet.. oddly enough... another aspect of him is that he has no emotion.
My friend is a cold fish. He can't love, or hate anyone. If they are unable to comply with his wishes, he simply eliminates them from his life. He is successful, but headed for a certain form of doom carried forth by his inability to connect to the world at large. If life were a zero sum game, he would win. It is not. There are several variables to consider. And he can only think ahead one move at a time. He is not human prey - not in the classic sense. His mind is like an office with the different floors not communicating in that compact, neat way that the predators mind can. Instead of telephones , to coin the metaphor - connecting the various offices, its fax machines. Clumsy . awkward.
And when he can't stare me in the eye. We have a code. I have read him the Maurice Sendak - "Where the Wild Things are..". He understands. I gnash my terrible teeth and exponse my terrible claws, and roll my terrible eyes. And then his long term memory rescues him, with just one short term action - he uses that magic trick .. of staring directly into my wild yellow eyes.
And it is always then, that I, Prey, bown down before him and declare him to be. Truly. He is the wildest thing of all.
This is the time. And this is the record of the time. Let X. equal. X.... thanks for letting me autograph your cast. Hugs and kisses.. XXXXO000