It is time the world knew the truth about me. I have been called by many names: skoomcoom, ts’emekwes, stiyaha, Yeti, Sasquatch, and to my great annoyance, Bigfoot. The obvious thing to assume is that a large creature, such as myself, will need properly sized feet to stably balance my body weight. But I digress.
My name is Melem, given to me by my parents, and I am coming close to the end of my time on this planet. As learned as such a being can be, I have decided to donate my body to your science so that you may understand me, more than perhaps I myself do. But before I do, it is important to tell you a brief history of my life. Viewing a life from all angles is key to actually understanding it.
The beginning of my account starts with my parents. Mother and Father are the only names I knew them by. They had met late in life on the northwest border of Canada, near the Yukon River. Dreaming of warmer weather to raise their offspring, they migrated south to Washington. The state, that is. The reason my parents met so late in their lives is simply because, as far as either of them knew, they were the last of our species. Being extremely close to the human species, where genetics are concerned, our kind also has trouble procreating the older we become. After many attempts, I was born to my adoring parents near their end. Both Mother and Father taught me as much as they could about life, and the world around us. How to find shelter and keep it hidden. How to feed one’s self in different terrains and climates. And, most importantly was how to stay invisible to the world of humans.
We Gorilla-men, closer to Neanderthals than gorillas…well, hairy like gorillas with a mind closer to that of a human being. I’m babbling again.
We Gorilla-men live long lives, similar to some modern humans. Possibly even a bit longer, but not quite as long as a tortoise. Upon examining my body, you may learn more about why that is. Could be the way we are built, or our all natural diet, I am not entirely certain. Obviously we don’t have calendars. I base these assumptions on the stories my mother and father told me, as well as my experience on this earth. The change in man seen from afar is the best way for my kind to judge time. A building known as “Smith’s Tower” opened the year my father passed. My mother held on for as long as she could, but slipped away soon after.
If the short amount of time without my father was hard to bear, it was nothing compared to being completely alone. How does one even begin to describe the devastating, crushing emotions of being the last of something, anything, along with the loss of both parents? Stomach wrenching sobs mixed with high pitched howls echoed through the woods for months on end. I remained, and still remain, in the shelter my parents built. Every call, every swish, every hoot in the night spooked me for months after their passings. (No, I am not nocturnal. I am just really good at evading humans.) Hunting and foraging were the toughest parts to get used to. Countless times I had trailed behind my parents while gathering leaves or catching fish, the only animal we eat. Never had I done these things on my own.