I’m Not Sure About Reincarnation, But Maybe I Was An Iguana


I had some time to think, and that is not always a good thing. My mind rambles along until it stumbles upon some random topic, and then I’m off and running. So, I was thinking about iguanas. And how they fall out of trees when it gets too cold for them. They’re not dead; they’re just sort of temporarily paralyzed.

And I began to envy the lowly iguana. The weather turns cold; the iguana doesn’t like it; he opts out. Seeya.

Then — one thought leading to another — I wondered if I could request to come back as an iguana. You know, if reincarnation is a thing.

And then — one thought leading to another — I wondered if an iguana could request to come back as me.

Which led me to ask my husband, “Do you think I was once an iguana?”

To which he replied, “That’s it. I’m having you tested.”

“No, no, just hear me out,” I said. “I have a lot in common with an iguana.”

“Such as?”

“I live in Florida.”


“My eyes turn red when I’m agitated.”

“I’ve seen that.”

“I’m starting to get saggy skin on my throat.”

“I am going to pretend to know nothing about that.”

“And I’d just love to temporarily opt out of life when things get uncomfortable.”

“Wouldn’t we all. But iguanas live mostly on vegetation. Without hamburgers, you’d starve to death in a week.”

I pondered this. It was true. I had probably been a carnivore. “Wolverine!” I shouted.

“You’ve lost me.”

“Maybe I was a wolverine. Wolverines l-o-v-e meat, hate crowds. Ooh, ooh! I know! A jaguar!” I started Googling. “A puma! It says here that pumas like to live near larger carnivores so they can use them as a shield. That’s you!”

“A shield? That’s the only reason you married me? To protect you from predators?”

I thought about this for a moment, then smiled. “No,” I said. “That’s why you married me.”

Mark did not think this was funny.

I continued scrolling. “Bush dog!”

“What’s a bush dog?”

“I don’t know, but he’s evidently, ‘Mysterious and difficult to spot, with webbed feet.’ Maybe I was a bush dog?”

“You still rely pretty heavily on the dog paddle.”

“Wait a minute. Here it is — recluse spider.”

“Yes, that’s it,” Mark agreed. “And I’d much rather be married to a former recluse spider than a former iguana.”

“There’s no need to get sarcastic. You don’t believe in reincarnation, do you?”

“I don’t, especially not for animals.”

“You need to open your mind.”

“You need to keep at least one foot on Planet Earth.”

But I didn’t hear him. I was busy Googling “characteristics of the recluse spider.” Mark left to clean the battery terminals on the car. To each his own.

Although I suppose that’s why we’re still driving — and married. At least one of us lives on Planet Earth.


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