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We sit across from one another, no more than arms length away. I see him and he sees me. My first thought is that this man is a wolf. I see his roughed up fur, it’s been groomed, but I can see and smell the blood. I see the danger in his eyes, I can see the tough on his face, I hear the menace in his words and I sense the threat in his mannerisms. This man may be cleaned up, but he cannot wash off the scars from his wounds.
He sees my impassive eyes, he sees my experience. He knows that I too am a wolf. He can tell that I am from a tamer pack, but a glorious, powerful wolf all the same. He eyes me with curiosity, yet he does not have the predator look in his eyes. He can read in my eyes that I will lay down and roll over for no man.
There is this silent conversation that happens. I encountered wolves like him in a past life, while I was a puppy, a victim, but not today. He can sense my quiet confidence and he knows I don’t fear him. In fact I’m confident that I could destroy him, but I recognize that he is a killer wolf. I also recognize that wolves run in packs and wolves seldom play fair. I fully recognize that this man can harm me just as he sees I can harm him. That being said there is a mutual respect for one another.
We acknowledge and respect each other as wolves. We walk a similar path and form unlikely alliances. Our packs become stronger, our territory larger. I have no interest in his territory, nor does he in mine, so we peacefully co-exist. The unlikeliest of brothers. This all happened within seconds during a silent eye to eye conversation.
Growing Up Bronx