My childhood was spent in a land where, though man had drained her dark swamps and laid concrete over her cleared forests, nature refused to be ignored. She made her presence known through swarms of insects that left my tiny child’s legs covered in large red welts until it looked like I was afflicted by an ancient pox. She knocked at our doors with apocalyptic winds and rains. She scattered among our waters and brush creatures large and small that could, if not end your life; make you regret its capacity for suffering. This is why I am a city boy through and through. I prefer to live in places where the natural order is completely conquered and the only dangers I face are manufactured by man. Man is much more predictable than the capricious spitefulness of nature. Angry drunks can be avoided, but an angry warthog is another matter.
1 The worse thing they have are midges, though they bring new meaning nuisance, are harmless.
2 Goddamn French blinded me with their cheap (but delicious) wine, I thought.