There was a garden lizard at the bottom of the pool. Quite, quite dead. And had been for a while by the look of it. The death of a lizard is a puzzling event. Should one feel sorry, solemn, maybe even a little grave? Or is it an incident that doesn't concern one? Should it just be shrugged off and forgotten? After all, it's just a little reptile. There are tons of them around. It's not like they're an endangered specie that you'd have to care about and show appropriate feeling for. Nor are they filled with fragile beauty (a herpetologist might disagree but whatever).
I stared at it for quite a while because I didn't know what to think (isn't it unsettling when that happens? I can deal with the whole thinking one thing, then the other and having a raging argument in my head thing but the sohowexactlydoireacttothis feeling is one I loathe).
I fished it out in the end. Trekked to the security guard office, got a fishnet from the maintenance man, waded into the pool and fished it out. This is going to sound peculiar but I followed that noble gesture by burying it. Somehow the thought of just throwing it into the bushes where ants would swarm around it and maggots grow out of it didn't seem right. These lizards (the American ones, I mean) are so fat and disgustingly well grown. Alive, they frighten me but dead like this one, I feel sorry for them. So stupid.
Why would you jump into a pool full of chlorine when you labor under the weight of a body that cannot adapt. When you're pampered from birth with everything you need, the sudden appearance of a chlorinated pool in your path does nothing other than invite you to take a refreshing dip. Nothing wrong with that. Try it out, be adventurous you think to yourself. But then you end up dead at the bottom of a pool. Because adaptation is a skill. And the only way you can acquire it is to be up against a wall. It just can't be inherited or bequeathed or bought. It has to be earned the hardest way there is. Mostly, by death.
An Indian lizard, one feels, would definitely have jumped into the pool. But then, an Indian lizard would not have flinched at the chlorine. An Indian lizard would not have ended up at the bottom of the pool. Toxic schmoxic, it would have thought and swum right along.
I think that's why I buried it. I might have some deeply hidden guilt for the unadapted ones. I just might.
And *ta da* this is the 150th post. Who'd have thought.