Today, my spouse picked up a paw print we had made in memory of our recently deceased rabbit, Bruce Banner. Bruce was a big, chubby, lovable guy. (For scale, his paw print is on the left; on the right is the paw print of our bunny, Ophelia, who passed just over a year ago.) It’s been about three weeks without Bruce, which means it’s been about three weeks without his grunting*, without pats, without fighting over the space under my desk, where he liked to lay while I worked. I’ve been an avid rabbit rescuer for nearly a decade, and for the first time in over eight years I’m not sharing my home with a big-eared pal. There are plenty of reasons that my spouse and I haven’t yet adopted another rabbit, but it’s still been a rough go. In a manner uncharacteristically optimistic of me, I’ve been spending a lot of time in a large park in my neighbourhood that is a known abandonment spot for domesticated rabbits, generally those purchased around easter time who are hitting bunny puberty and becoming either expensive or difficult. Last week, I spent upwards of three hours doing my work reading in the park, and moving from spot to spot in hopes of finding a bunny in need of rescue. I really did this, and I’m sharing it because there’s a set of scenes at the end of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep in which Rick meditates on the possibility and significance of finding a real, living animal in a world devastated by nuclear warfare and covered in radioactive dust. It’s a great ending to a great text, and really speaks to the hanging ambivalent tone that this text operates through. That was my entire experience of reading it: the plot seems like it should make a reader all but depressed, but, like Iran, the protagonist’s wife, the reader is pulled along, and pulled outside of regular emotional activity. Iran self-induces a feeling of despair twice per week because she recognises both that despair has been lost as a response to the plight of the earth and its inhabitants, and that a lack of fitting emotional response was once considered an illness. Anyway, this is accidentally a post about my deceased rabbit, but you should totally read this book.
*rabbits grunt to indicate displeasure or anger, normally. Bruce suffered from food anxiety, and would grunt every.single.time we fed him, to the point that it eventually it became part of his food excitement routine.
Have a recommendation for me? Leave it in the comments!
Reading next: either Philip K. Dick’s UBIK, or Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven.