“You want to take me to a place called “Alligator River?”
    He handed me the brochure.
    “It’s a wildlife refuge.”
    I took it if only to get him to stop holding it towards me and flipped it over to see the address. Somewhere in North Carolina.
    “You want me to go with you on a camping trip where we sleep in the wild and then kayak down the river in a place named after its scariest inhabitants–Alligator River? You think I am going to do this after specifically talking to you and only you about my irrational fear of dying at the jaws of an alligator and my persistent dreams of alligators that we both try to decode?”
    “We will just walk and I will point out the alligators to you,” he calmly asserted as if I hadn’t said any of that.
    I stared at him.
    “Alligators like their young. They are family animals,” he shrugged.
    “They protect their young. They will kill their young if they have to.”
    The brochure sat plainly on the console.
    “Don’t alligators eat their young during famines?”
    “Hard times befall us all.”
    I got out of the car and leaned into the window.
    “The refuge is called Alligator River.”
    “Yes. It’s a good time at Alligator River,” he smiled.
    I half twirled debating walking around the car to my entrance.
    “E x p o s u r e.”
    How do you debate these things?
    “Take me kayaking first. Here.”
    “Of course.”

“The Dream of Alligator River”

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