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  • A fortune teller once told me that my spirit animal was a wolf; she asked me what kind, and the word red came out. Wolves are known for traveling in packs; yet, the past three major male characters in my life besides my brother and Dad, have all been lone wolves, the kinds that travel their own path in the wild. Each have their story and one even has a red wolf for a pet, but for now, let's start with my first, Jake.

    I just did a google search for Jake, it's something I do every now and again for curiosity's sake. I never find anything, nor do I really expect to. For starters, his name is a Jewish version of John Smith and so it is hard to get specific enough to really be a detective. But mostly because he was a guy who relished in being underground, skirting the law, literally.

    I first met Jake in kindergarden, a time of which I remember little. I have the vague memory of him being that wild kid with an energy that no one quite knows what to do with. The next memory occurs around the my early adolescence at the ski mountain three hours from our home that we both happened to frequent with our families. In this memory, I'm skiing with my class down a trail and Jake is above us dropping off a 20 foot cliff, then me again with my ski Instructor and classmates on a mini jump learning helicopters and Jake flying in out of nowhere and executing a perfect 360.

    The next encounter was a few years later, both of us in our adolescence prime at someone's party. Me with long hair, a hoodie and flowing hippie skirt, him with his long red hair pulled back in a ponytail and sleek and muscular body. It was a classic Jake experience, startling and exciting and other-worldly. Jake acted as if he'd been expecting me all along, as if he had it all planned. "Hilary!" he said grinning, "ahh, there you are!" Jake had a way of making everything seem like it was part of a master, covert plan, one that was larger than life, but who's blueprints he had access to. He was attending an alternative high school and living on his own, in an apartment funded by his self employed job selling pot. We exchanged info and made a date for me to come by and visit.

    The rest of that story is long and convoluted and one I don't quite know how piece together in this rigid format of lines and paragraphs. In many ways it is a classic story of first love and loss of innocence combined. And yet it is every bit as unique and special and otherworldly as Jake. It is a hazy reminiscence of wild, intense energy, and of the trial that is falling into the dark den of the untamable lone wolf.
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