Eel Saliva


I envy the electric eel (Electrophorus electricus, and not an eel but a fish) who can construct his nest out of his own saliva, and put out some tremendous voltage from his own inner organic batteries. In my case, to provide myself shelter, I have to rely on others to travel to far flung corners of the earth and violently extract from it sufficient wood, plaster, copper, steel, clay, fabric, plastic, etc. How much more efficient and personal if instead I could salivate copiously and build up a home from my own inner materials, and then, with my own organs, proceed to light and heat and decorate. Even if I were only half electric eel I could sit at this computer, I imagine, and instead of requiring others to dig coal from the earth and burn it, or construct titanic dams, or split the atom, my lightly charged fingers on the keys would suffice to light up the screen and send my words across the world.

True, the electric eel generates its greatest charges, upwards of 600 volts, only in self defense. The slow strangulation of the planet that my wall plugs help along every day could be seen as a case of self-defense as well, if I accept the argument that nature is my sworn enemy, that nature is an intruder, a home invasion maniac, climbing up the trellis in the back yard, easing through the open bedroom window, reaching out tranquilly to throttle me while I, half asleep, slowly reach under the pillow for my gun, my car, my hair dryer, my computer.

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One Comment on “Eel Saliva”

  1. lisa b Says:

    I like this. If only I could telepathically send you this message – or send it via a bolt of electricity fabricated by my shuffling feet on the shag carpet.


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