Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leif and a Gecko on his Hand - Tampa - October 7, 2007

Leif took this photo just about two years ago, on October 7, 2007. He's wearing his motorcycle glove and a cute little lizard is just sitting there on it, a very unusual circumstance, since these little guys are extremely fast and also can jump amazingly far and fast. I don't know whether he caught it or it jumped onto him, but he managed to get out his iPhone and take a photo of it.

Leif always liked reptiles, particularly snakes and lizards. He was fascinated with them and with cats in particular. He had pet snakes but I don't think he ever had a pet lizard, though he would have liked to own an iguana.

He had a lot of compassion for animals, and maintained that he had more compassion for them than for people, since he felt people were often cruel and destructive. However, he was far more compassionate about people than he allowed to show in his bravado persona.

This was taken the day after we returned from our three-week trip to China. He had picked us up at the airport and taken us home. It was then that we found out about the sad end to his life with Donna, and although he feigned bravado about that, too, it was clearly hard for him to come to terms with that, as he sank into depression that fall and a month after this photo was taken is when he sent me the email saying that he felt he had no purpose in life and that it held far more pain and misery for him than it did happiness or meaning.

And yet, he was interested enough to photograph a gecko, and rescue a turtle from traffic just days before he died in the spring.

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