I believe it was George Berkeley who famously declared, “We are not assured of the existence of things from their being perceived. And we are taught to distinguish their real nature from that which falls under our senses.”

Thanks a lot, Mr. Berkeley. Now can you please explain that to all these jerks who keep mistaking me for a golden-rumped lion tamarin?

People, I am a human being. I have hands and feet and feelings.

Yes, perhaps I occasionally enjoy the atmosphere of lowland tropical forests, especially semi-deciduous inland forests and humid coastal-plain forests. But that is simply because I have a penchant for bromeliads. Would you deny me that right—the right to munch on a little bromeliad using my specialized long-fingered hands?

And, for that matter, I only said, “It just seems like a frugivorous diet would be sensible in today’s market of trans fats.” It’s not like I said, “Man, I could sure go for some exudates, which I would lick from the peeled-back bark of the tree in which I live.” Get over it.

Look, maybe I’m getting perturbed for no reason. Sometimes—well, sometimes I just get scared and retreat into my emotions, or a large tree 20 to 50 feet above the forest floor. I know I should be more forthright with my feelings, but—oh, I don’t know—maybe I’m just too damn scared to get out there and let somebody love me.

I just want you all to realize that I am a normal Homo sapiens with fears like any other.

Which, by the way, Eric, is why I tried to run up the tree in your front lawn when I saw your cat. No, I didn’t do that because my primary predators are small jungle cats. And, no, I didn’t engage in any suprapubic marking while in the tree. I just felt safe there. Safe like I were in a group of three to four adults, raising our young in cooperation. Safe like that, Eric. Safe like that.

But you all probably wouldn’t know anything about that, would you? You’re too busy obliterating my home in pursuit of lumber and charcoal. Hell, I’ve already grown accustomed to a home range of less than 500 acres—why not take it all? Shame on you people. This is why I use vocalizations to warn others about your advances.

If you happen upon me, and my hair stands on end, know that I am fearful, but ready. Ready to fight, or to sensibly retreat back into my hole on the side of a tree, a hole that was made by a woodpecker.