Elephant with Sunglasses On

by Daniel Spitz

The elephant has no name because elephants do not have names. He is enormous and heavy and slow. He sometimes wants things and sometimes does not.

His trunk weighs heavily upon his face, drooping and dangling in the dusty wind. The skin enclosing his body is thick and gray and loose and wrinkled. His knees, especially, are covered in wrinkles.

The elephant, and the rest of the animals in the savannah, all happen to be wearing sunglasses. Thus, they cannot make eye contact with one another. Eye contact is not possible. There is no risk that the elephant might accidentally make eye contact with another elephant, or perhaps a bird, because he and the other elephants, and even the birds, all wear sunglasses.

When the elephant isn’t aware of his mouth, it happens to look a bit like he is smiling to himself.

The elephant tends to sleep some of the time. To say that he will sometimes decide to sleep would be wrong. Instead, it is simply the case that sometimes the elephant will wind up sleeping for awhile, punctuating any of the various other things he tends to do on a typical day.

The transition to sleep might look something like this:

Elephant is asleep now.

While the elephant sleeps, there is a mild presence of physical relief that flows in waves through his body. There is little in the way of awareness or coherent perceptions.

It is important to note that while the elephant sleeps, his sunglasses stay on. They do not fall off when he rolls over, and they are not pinched between his head and the earth at an odd angle. The same is true for all the animals that fall asleep from time to time in the savannah. There will be no risk of another animal making eye contact with the elephant while he is sleeping. There will be no need for him to put the sunglasses back on when he wakes up.

It is also important to note that the elephant’s feet are not dextrous. They are not tender, they are not acutely sensitive, and they have no ability to grasp anything. The elephant has no reason to consider using his extremities to sense or manipulate the world around him as he lies on the ground. It does not occur to him as a possibility or a responsibility.

The elephant sleeps for awhile in this way. Eventually, he will wake up, and eventually, he will sleep again.