by Ben Hargrave
I want a divorce. I’m sorry. I love you, I really do. I always will. I would not trade any second of time spent with you for anything in this crazy universe. You’ve opened up my mind, body, and soul to wonders of the world that I never would have known if not for you, like the preservation of dinosaur DNA in 75 million year old mosquitoes fossilized in ancient amber. You’re wonderful, perfect even, and you have to believe me when I say: It’s not you, it’s me. And my pet velociraptor.
Remember honeymooning in Peru? We watched the sunrise over Machu Picchu and I never felt more in love. As we tried to contemplate the creation of such an ancient marvel, you offhandedly mentioned InGen – the bioengineering company that clones dinosaurs. I immediately flew to Isla Nublar and after some finagling with a vexatious computer programmer, managed to purchase a velociraptor egg hidden in a Barbasol can by exhausting our life savings. I think that’s when the scales began to tip away from you in favor of something that, without question, had more scales.
However, my return to the states was such a joyous occasion, for you had given birth while I was abroad! We agreed to find an animal that our little Ellie could grow up with and so, to me, the acquisition of my velociraptor – ironically named Rex – was perfect timing, really. What child wouldn’t go bonkers for a living, breathing, terrifying dinosaur? But what with an apex predator being an apex predator, it became clear that having Rex around would’ve likely resulted in her death – especially considering she tried to eat her several times.
After that I put Rex out back and built her a little raptor cage doghouse. It was clear from the get-go that she was an outside dinosaur, plus our hardwood floors were simply not having it. Her unpredictability and constant attempts to gut anything with a heartbeat meant she began to take precedence over family matters. Did we miss your mother’s funeral because Rex got carsick in the Jeep on the way there? Yes, but you have to understand: I don’t know how she works, Claire.
Rex swelled to the size of a polar bear in mere months – I thought velociraptors were tiny and feathery, but I’m no scientist. The only thing certain was Rex’s perpetual status as a wild hell beast. Taking care of her became a full-time job and I quit being a full-time husband. We stopped having Junk Food Night, I didn’t take you on surprise dates anymore, and our sex life was extinct – all because of me. Then I had an epiphany: the rigmarole of domesticity paled in comparison to the pleasure felt from playing God.
Ever since I moved into the back yard eleven months ago to immerse myself in her world, every waking thought has been devoted to Rex and Rex alone. As the days dripped by I felt my sense of humanity dissolve as my reptile brain took over, and my new identity as a dinosaur evolved. All I wanted to do was hunt and kill, so that’s all I did in the 20’ radius our leashes allowed. By the way, I’m so sorry I ate your arm, though, perhaps it might comfort you to know that it was delicious.
You and Ellie deserve better. Rex, even more so. There is no manual for how to take care of her – it’s all been improvised. Then it hit me that Dr. Hammond built Jurassic Park so that monsters like her could roam free and wild. That’s why I’ve gone back. Also, to escape the outstanding warrant out for my arrest. I just let Rex loose and she took off into the jungle, though I suspect she will return shortly so that we may begin our new lives together, like you and I did so many years ago.
Ah, there she is. She’s brought friends. They look hungry.
Ben Hargrave is a comedian, writer, and videographer living in New York who makes his own peanut butter (is so good). Check out his tweets @HarHarHargrave – it would mean a lot to him.