I am dragon. And I am cat. I am also human.
I am a western dragon – your typical four-legged, two-wings, spikes, all that fun stuff. Yes, I breath fire. Or I like to think I did at one point. I am immense. I have no fear of being hunted or hurt for I am the top-most predator. The wind is my sister and she lifts my waiting wings into the sky.
I am tiger. Ebon and orange strips over sleek, ever-ready muscles. I can leap and catch my prey with ease. I gaze at my enemies, those who threaten me, and scare them away with the promise of death in my thunderous roar.
And finally I am human. Struggling to survive in a world of complex social interactions and lies hidden behind false smiles. Someone experiencing complex emotions, the wonder of love, the closeness of friends.
I am never one or other but all three. When I walk down concrete paths, ever-present needs on my mind, the list of job duties, what I must do next – the wind will blow. And I am dragon. Wings I no longer have still spread to catch the warmth of the fresh spring air, in a silent prayer to my sister. “Sweet sister, hear me. Lift these wings and keep them whole. Bring me ever closer to the brilliance of the sun.” All this in a split second of a thought. Not really even a thought, just being. And I feel the veins in my wings, the ones I don’t have, warm with the touch of the sun. I feel them start to pump and move preparing for flight. I can feel the stretch of my skin along my back when the wind whispers to me. And I smile. A little sadly, to know this will never be.
When dragon is more aware there is little facial movement – after all, scales and horns don’t move well. And a mouth full of sharp, ragged teeth does not smile well.
Dragon loves treasure. So does human. Everything is Mine. Everything that is mine is protected and hoarded. People are part of a treasure and sometimes do not appreciate this. I keep this inside to the dragon. And feel the hurt and anger when something that is mine is upset or not near me. But human understands this behavior is not okay and so endures it. Endures the pain and rage alone.
When I am threatened at work by an aggressive dog or an aggressive person I let them see me. The black and ember. The gold flecked eyes that are always watching from beneath my own. See me. I am bigger and stronger than you. I can hear the roar, the lost thunder in the harsh tones of my words and they believe me. They know what I am in the back of their primitive mind, even if they do not realize it.
Tiger watches always. Tigers are not always the fearsome beasts of legends and misnomers. They are cautious of that which would harm them. And so am I. Always watching who is where, what is threat, what is not. Is it best to flee or fight? Weighing options and threats. Too many people is too much danger and I can feel the twitching of fur beneath skin. The quivering of tail to show annoyance and nervousness. I am quiet, waiting for a safe way out. If threatened I will roar and swipe and scare away that which is in my way. But, I am still human. I long for social interaction though it puts that twitching to start. Though it makes long-gone fur stand and sway and dance. I want it. And yet I cannot stand it at times. When those gold eyes are watching and gauging.
As human I see my world. As animal I smell it, listen to it, feel the subtle changes along my skin. My thoughts are the same. A mixture of thoughts, sights, sounds, scents that I cannot describe to another, for who else could understand? It is not about to rain, not just in words. The air is laden with the smell of wet and dirt, the thickness of it touches my skin kissing it with moisture, and the grays all swirls together with blue and the day darkens to something closer to dusk. That is the coming of the storm.
Every step I take is made with padded feet and with the presence of gilded wings. I can feel the wind ruffle the fur that lays along limbs and face, I can feel the sun kiss scales on wings. I feel it all at once. Always.
That is just a glimpse of what I am.
I am all human, tiger and dragon. Never just one.