One time, we were on Hawaii, Kauai to be exact, watching the sunset over the shoreline. I don’t remember which beach, but it was the sandy kind, not the cliffy kind.
There was a couple, walking hand-in-hand. You know the scene. Found on greeting cards the world over. The definitive image of fairy-tale love —
Personally, I don’t get it. I am with the man I adore, but I am cold and I have to go to the bathroom. The sand is blowing on my face. It doesn’t feel romantic. It feels uncomfortable.
Anyway, as the couple came closer, we could see their dog running to and fro. The man held a piece of driftwood, which he tossed ahead. The dog excitedly raced to retrieve the stick and faithfully returned it to the man. This scene looped over and over, again and again.
Soon, we realized a member of the family was lagging behind, just out of frame. It was a pig. It was a pet pig.
Every time the dog ran for the branch, the pig ran, too. The pig pranced just as fast as his little legs could carry him. But the poor pig was not built for speed. Each time, he gave it his all, but he could never catch up. He could never find his pace. He could never fit the flock.
Maybe this is just anthropomorphizing on my part, but I relate to that pig. I identify with the struggle. To try and try. To come up short. You know, they transplant pig valves to the human heart. Because it’s the closest — though not the kosher-est — of flesh.
© 2014 Jaclyn Schrier. All rights reserved.