The first recorded image of an Okapi is from a façade
of the Apadana of Perseoplis, 5th Century B.C.E.,
even though the Western world, refused to believe
in it until the late 1800s. It wasn't like Okapi existed
to a greater extent after that, anymore than it didn't
through all those years of being hidden away from view.
May 10, 1970 is far from 1887, just as the Congo is
from 5th Century Persepolis. But strange creatures do whatever
is necessary to exist across distances of disbelief. I did not ever
have an interest is sports as a kid, my imagination explored
different heroes. But a young boy in America in the 1960s
who didn't like sports as much as breathing was... unknown.
I knew my adopted father felt this way. So I tried my best
to show fake interest that looked real, like he did with me.
So, there I was at that epic moment in History, the last game
of the 1970s Stanley Cup Finals, and Bobby Orr made flying
real for long enough to place the winning goal. So excited
to see my father be proud of someone, I wanted a taste of that.
I blurted, "That was as impossible as they used to thing Okapi
was!" His face fell. He looked at me, had no idea what I was.