The following are excerpts from a small moleskin journal that was found in a clearing deep the woods outside Lincoln, Nebraska. The journal is currently thought to be that of one Lewis Larson who never arrived to work on the date of May the fifteenth and was officially reported missing the following day.
May 15: I ran into the woods. I just couldn’t take it anymore. The people, my job, my mortgage, my kids, my wife, it’s all just too much. Have you watched reality TV?! It’s insane! How am I supposed to live like this? I’m going to be 35 tomorrow and what do I have to show for it? Mediocrity.
For the past few years I’ve often found myself dreaming of a life where my only responsibility was to live. When was the last time the average American citizen really lived? I gather some of us have yet to do so. I would daydream about life on the road as a vagabond, or possibly that of a simple farmer before the turn of the Industrial Revolution, even the life of a prisoner serving a jail sentence was appealing to me. So I did the only thing I could do, I ran into the woods.
May 16: I survived the first night and it was enjoyable to sleep under the stars. However, I now regret not packing a bag or bringing any kind of food, but in the words of Gloria: I will survive. I found a clearing yesterday with a large tree. The tree had a hole rotted into the base which proved to be quite cozy after I got used to it. My mind wanders to my wife and children, have I abandoned them? They are so concerned with their cell phones and computers that I’m sure they don’t even realize that I’m gone. My wife and I have not been intimate in months, and we are barely more than acquaintances at this point. Plus, she has been talking to and hanging out with her work friend Jared multiple nights a week now. I suspect that they have begun an affair. Today I will forage for nuts and berries and create a makeshift shelter. I have never felt more alive.
May 17: Yesterday I managed to collect enough berries, nuts, mushrooms and water from a stream to last me a few days. My little hole in a tree is looking not too shabby either. I managed to take what little knowledge I learned from Boy Scouts and built a small fire last night! I have never felt like more than a man. I miss my children, but they are at that age where they hated me. I will contact them in a few years and tell them my story, I’m sure they will understand. My wife on the other hand, I’ve found that I do not miss at all, she was a bitch and I am better off without her. I do however still find myself longing for companionship from time to time.
May 18: I woke up today to find a squirrel wandering around my camp. I fed her a few nuts and berries and she has stayed with me in my camp all day. I have found myself enjoying talking to the squirrel, I know it cannot understand me, but it is therapeutic to be able to talk.
May 21: I haven’t been journaling because I’ve been having so much fun with my squirrel friend! I’ve decided to name her Elizabeth and she follows me everywhere. She even sleeps in the shelter with me at night. It is nice to have a life companion again. I have never been happier.
June 2: Elizabeth and I are getting married. We have so much in common. She is also an outcast from her society, with ungrateful children and a unfaithful husband. I am so excited to start our life together! I have never been more in love!
June 15: Elizabeth and I have decided to move out to a larger shelter closer to the stream. We also encountered our first little speedbump in our marriage when the topic of having children came up. It was a little grim in the house that night when we realized that due to our unique situation we would not ever be able to have children of our own, or even be intimate for that matter. We have each other though, and that is all that really matters. Elizabeth also reminded me that adoption is always an option.
June 20: Elizabeth and I had our first dispute today. It was a rough one. She didn’t like the way I arranged the twig table in the new dining room and threw a fit. I’ll admit that I didn’t really put my heart into it, it’s just that it’s so small and I can never use it, myself being a bit larger than a squirrel. I am also not proud to say that I did strike Elizabeth. I don’t know what got into me! I’ve never hit anyone before, but she said some very hurtful things and before I knew it my finger slapped across her little furry cheek. She then bit my big toe which really hurt. She slept in a tree that night. I have never felt more ashamed.
June 22: Elizabeth and I have reconciled and she has moved back into the stick house. However I fear that it may never be the same between us. She says that she forgives me, but I can see fear and resentment in those little brown eyes. I have never made a bigger mistake.
In early July, reports began surfacing of a homeless man wandering suburban Lincoln. The man is allegedly wearing a tattered blue oxford shirt, a tie, and only boxerbriefs. According to reports, a small squirrel occasionally pops out of his shirt pocket and eats a berry out of the man’s hand. The man has also been seen gently kissing the squirrel on many occasions. Lincoln Police advise the community to report any sightings of this man and to avoid all contact.