Dear Real Bigfoot,

I super love you. I want to hug you. You might not like that. I wonder what you smell like. Like a wild animal, I guess, but you’re not a wild animal. You’re different. You’re a freak of nature, and I mean that in the most outstanding way. You are electric and organic and everything the rest of us wish we were. You are what e.e. cummings wanted us to be. You are everything we’ve lost touch with: Nature, body hair, animal instincts, and the sheer size of life. You’re a hunter-gatherer, baby, and that is hot.

When I saw the photo of you last week, I was skeptical, of course. All photos of Bigfoot or other legendary creatures are subject to skepticism because, as reasonable, mature, working adults, we can’t be always buying into fantastical stories then finding out we were duped. The whole Santa Claus thing was embarrassing enough. Do you know about Santa Claus? Do you even concern yourself with this stuff?

Anyway, I was skeptical, but the thought of you stirred such strong feelings in me that I felt compelled to write to you. I hope you can read, or I hope someone reads this to you, maybe some very lucky liaison of the hairless world who brings you snacks and cookies in the woods and shows you how to read and stuff. But you are such a savvy woodsman you probably don’t need that kind of help, and in fact, the cookies would be an interference with your natural, healthy diet. Look how strong you are, how tall, how stealthy and smart, how luxurious your hair! You don’t need anything from us soft, bald, squishy, oil-addicted, technology-dependent folks, and that is what I love about you. I dare say that’s what all of us love about you — you are so not us in all the right ways, even if you are exactly like us in some other ways.

My first instinct was to say that photo was a hoax because people are always claiming to have seen, found, caught or even killed you. I know, it’s awful. Last year, some guys even produced a frozen corpse, which I was so grateful to discover was only an ape suit, and not even a very good one. I was completely offended by that hoax and didn’t want to be fooled again, but I can’t help it. I want to believe in you more than I want to believe in God.

Honestly, I shouldn’t be calling you “Bigfoot.” It’s like if you called me “Squishythighs.” I wouldn’t appreciate that very much. I’d like to give you a name. I’d like to call you Francis. It’s a good name, gender neutral, and has a bit of a rock-n-roll twist while being quite classic. If you don’t like it, I can call you something else, OK? But for now, I’m going to call you Francis.

So, Francis, sometimes I day dream about the life you must live. So many of us supposedly civilized people have drifted so far away from what matters most — and I’m not just talking about family and love — we’ve lost touch with our real survival needs, our health, our basic nature. I’m talking about eating, breeding and staying warm. You’ve got that down.

Is your life hard? Do you like it? Is it worth living? The rest of us tend to think we couldn’t cope with life if we didn’t have our houses, our jobs, and our cars, and yet those are the very things that make our lives so complicated. I don’t want to lose my job, and yet, in any given day, the hardest thing I have to deal with is most likely related to my job. Most of us are in codependent relationships with our jobs, wanting to be free of the responsibilities of work, yet feeling that without the money we earn from work, we couldn’t be happy. What kind of sense does that make?

I wish you could tell me about your days, Francis. Do you spend a lot of time looking for food? Do you cook your food over a fire, admiring the warm glow on the faces of your family? Or do you eat it alone, satisfied by your natural ability to provide for yourself? Are you tired at the end of the day? Do you wonder if there is more to life than eating, breeding and staying warm? I wonder, too.

I love you, Francis Bigfoot.

Mary Squishythighs

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MARY HENDRIE (formerly Mary Richert) is a writer living and working near Annapolis, MD. Her blog is missdirt.net. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College. You can also find her on Twitter, @MissDirt. Mary really likes it when people comment on her blog or talk to her on Twitter so she can meet new people and get new ideas, so feel free to say hello any time.

12 responses to “Hunter-Gatherer, Baby!”

  1. I often wondered if Bigfoot was Nietzsche’s Ubermensch with fur. Perhaps the huge leap in evolution that Nietzsche had in mind was actually devolution. Whatever the case, I suspect Bigfoot is heading the right direction. He is everything the industrial revolution made us shed.

    • Mary Richert says:

      Ooh, the Ubermench! That’s such a great thought. And why not? Nietzche was talking about humanity without false morals or loyalties. Man as self-interested animal, right? The only catch is that Nietzsche seemed to be describing someone who was willing to take actions to benefit himself without much (or any) consideration to those who might be effected by his actions. He didn’t account for a creature that might simply provide for itself without even encountering the need to interfere with others. Bigfoot would be an example of that, which is another reason I love the idea, an intelligent creature whose survival is mostly independent of humanity as we know it and who can get by just fine without harming its environment. I sure wish I knew how to do that…

      • Mary Richert says:

        erm … affected? effected? I forget. Look, this is why I always ask others to proof read for me. Please apply this apology to all my future comments.

  2. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    (Francis) Bigfoot endures! An artist friend of mine includes Bigfoot as a motif in her linocut/woodcut work.

    I was so interested in him/her when I was a little kid. The very idea of this wild beastie living its own life out there and no one could ever “prove” s/he existed. Indeed, Bigfoot never has to worry about traffic, bills, or work-appropriate attire.

  3. Matt says:

    Viva la Francis!

    Not for him the everyday burdens of taxes, gas mileage, political diatribes, religious funadmentalism…that shaggy nature dude has it all figured out!

  4. I wish I could remember the name of the short story now – a friend loaned me an anthology ages and ages ago (I want to think the anthology was Card’s Maps in a Mirror but I don’t think that’s right) and one of the stand-out pieces was about a guy who had found total peace and happiness by removing himself from the world around him and any forms of communication.

    The psychologist who found him, of course, ruined everything. Sorry psychologists! I didn’t write the story!

    Francis seems to have got it right. I hope he’s very happy.

    • Mary Richert says:

      Thanks for reading, Simon. I don’t know if I would ever really want to remove myself from the world, but if I could just have a happy little commune with the people I care about… that might be nice. You know, in the woods, with our fur, etc.

  5. Jim Simpson says:

    No one ever mentions this, but you know what they say about shoe size. Is Bigfoot well endowed? Does he have a huge schlong? If so, more importantly, at least to Mrs. Bigfoot, does he know how to use it?

    Seriously, Bigfoot has always reminded me of the Cardiff Giant — the greatest hoax of the 20th century — and Der Golem, only with a bunch of hair instead of clay or stone.

  6. […] to the Excellence in Teaching Adjudication Committee.  *Give us a listen?  *Mary Richert writes to Bigfoot.  *Greg Olear writes to […]

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