For most of my life, I’ve hoped that one day I’d transform into a werewolf. Now, however, I’m about ready to give up on the dream.
I mean, if it didn’t happen yesterday, it probably ain’t ever gonna happen.
Friday the 13th … harvest moon … there was absolutely no better time.
Ever heard the expression, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity?” It’s attributed to Seneca. (I actually thought late football coach George Allen came up with it, but that’s beside the point.) The point is, I’m not lucky because I have spent decades preparing myself for a metamorphosis and the perfect opportunity came and went.
Do you know when the next full moon pairs up with a Friday the 13th?
August 13, 2049.
I’ll be 89.
I guess I could still be alive, but my best werewolf days will be behind me. Oh, I might be able to foam at the mouth – a wolf man cliché – but that’ll probably be more a function of age or acid reflux than lycanthropy.
I already drool a little, anyway.
Now, before you think I’m some sort of nut, I realize that it would be extremely difficult for me to turn into a werewolf. I have not been bitten by a werewolf nor do I carry the gene. And even if I could shift my shape, I have no desire to be the kind of monster you’ve seen in movies like “The Howling” or “An American Werewolf In London.” I don’t want to hurt any animals or other human beings. About the worst thing I’d do is wrestle a nut away from a squirrel, or steal some kale from hippies.
As the world’s first documented vegetarian werewolf, basically I’d just want to get hairy and run around in the woods while wearing tattered clothes. I’ve always thought that would be a good look for me.
My obsession started when I saw Lon Chaney Jr. play “The Wolf Man” in the classic 1941 film.
It’s responsible for the first poem I memorized …
“Even a man who is pure in heart
and says his prayers by night
may become a wolf when the wolf’s bane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright.”
Dude just sat down on a chair and before I knew it, hair sprouted all over his face, he developed an under bite and – dressed smartly in a long sleeve, button-down shirt and slacks – jumped out a window and wolfed out all night long.
I thought that was just fantastic.
I remember seeing it late at night one weekend and then coming to school on Monday and excitedly asking my teacher what she knew about werewolves.
She didn’t know shit, and that disappointed me.
But being a precocious little fellow, I learned all I could on my own.
One big takeaway from my studies is that “lycanthropy” has two definitions.
The first is, “the supernatural transformation of a person into a wolf, as recounted in folk tales.”
I like that one. It speaks to my soul.
The second is, “a form of madness involving the delusion of being an animal, usually a wolf, with correspondingly altered behavior.”
That’s disturbing, and takes much of the fun out of the fantasy. Plus, you might wind up contracting rabies or have to get a tetanus shot should you happen to rip your legs on barbed wire while trying to capture and eat chickens.
But before I discovered sportsball, I spent many a day on the playground pretending to be a werewolf. As I think I’ve told you before, I even carried a tube of toothpaste with me so I could put a dab in my mouth and create foam.
It was kinda gross, but I had the freshest breath in second grade.
I still miss those carefree days, but realize if I did that now the manager at Publix might think I stole the toothpaste, and it’d make for an uncomfortable situation for all involved.
It might be worth the risk, though.
So here we are, on Saturday the 14th, and there is no evidence whatsoever that my dream came true the night before.
No tattered clothes.
No mud on the floor.
Nary a wolf’s bane corsage to be found.
I’m sorta depressed about it now, but as time goes by and 2049 draws closer, I might build up for one last shot.
Either way, I’m bringing my own toothpaste to the assisted living facility.
My playground days aren’t over until I say they are.