It's like this...
As you know, wolves and dogs had a common ancestor. The lines parted ways about, if I recall, 50,000 years ago. About the time our forbears were starting to live in settlements and discovering agriculture. Some of the common ancestors of wolves and dogs started hanging around these human settlements, probably at the garbage dumps. The humans started putting them to work, finding out that they'd do a lot in exchange for some food.
So really, it's all about kibble.
And, all things considered, that was not a bad choice to make. There are countless millions of dogs in the world today, and probably about 150,000 wolves.
So, we're the dogs. We're thoroughly domesticated. It's all about the kibble. Although our kibble is slightly--only slightly--more complex. We live in a world where what is expected of us is to watch television and buy stuff. In other words, "Go to sleep." We live lives without hardship, but also without risk or danger or heroic struggle.
And without love.
That's right, we live lives without love.
Instead of love, we have the domesticated version: "Relationships." Those things we Work On. And there's sex, too. That's now available over the internet, too.
Ah, the internet. Which paradoxically offers contact without the connection. We while away the hours, seemingly communicating with folks in Phoenix, Seattle, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Coral Gables, Milwaukee, Boston... And it's easy to fool yourself that what's going on there is some kind of connection, that there's intimacy involved. But of course, we've all become marketing experts, selecting grainy pics and scribing profiles of 1000 characters or less. "Masc man seeking other masc men. Like outdoors, movies, trance. Seeking LTR but having fun till that comes along. Gym 5x/week. 8 cut."
Imagine this: not so very long ago, people would kill for love. Read Act V of Romeo And Juliet sometime. Imagine the kind of passion that would compel you to off yourself right then and there if you thought you'd never again get to kiss your beloved's lips and feel the warmth of life in them.
Not seeing it? Imagine harder!
See what I mean?
Just go to sleep, and tomorrow, there will probably be some more kibble in your bowl, so everything will be fine.
But in every dog, there's a wee bit of wolf still.
When I was a little boy, and this part of Pennsylvania was still fairly rural, the story went around that a certain wooded area was off limits to us, because it was rumored that there was a pack of feral dogs there. I was captivated by the idea. Feral dogs. I'd look at my own dog, Mokoa, sleeping peacefully on the hearth rug, fetcher of tennis balls, chaser of chickens. Would Mokoa leave all this behind and turn feral?
Feral dogs are the only hope for humanity. If dogs can do it, maybe it's not too late for us. Maybe we can still manage to find something wild, something feral, deep down inside.
I think that's what leather is all about. You just want it to mean something. The sting of a bullwhip, the taste of bootleather, the flash of fear in the face of the man who is submitting to you, that's real. That's wild. It's feral.
But for how long? Ross Perot was wrong, that "sucking sound" wasn't globalization; it's commodification. Every aspect of human experience getting turned into a product, a "lifestyle" that you can acquire, if you've got enough available on your credit card.
And that's basically what my werewolf story is all about.