When I first heard about Carlo Hildebrand the surfactant-collector, from a family friend who knows him, I was told that in elementary school we must have been doppelgangers. We’re the same age. We had both been fiddle-playing Canadian kids full of questions. We had both been obsessed with ornithology, had both spent our days flipping through bird books, studying plumages, and keeping tallies of the species we’d seen.
Our shared childhood idiosyncrasies made me curious. But what really piqued my interest was how different our workdays are now. I spend mine in a newsroom or out reporting. Carlo spends his in a slaughterhouse, pushing a tube up into the tracheas of dead cattle.