Requiem For A Deer
November 5, 2015
THE UNSTABLE CREATURE
Being a creature of habit implies an inborn need for constant consistency. It doesn’t matter how weird or sporadic life is, as long as there’s some form of timely repetition such a creature can adapt to almost anything. Admittedly I am such a creature, preferring a set schedule as opposed to spontaneity. This does not mean that every moment of the day needs to be planned for in advance. However, certain things like work, trips to the grocery and other repetitive weekly acts should fall into a consecutive schedule. Lately the custody arrangements with my grandson AKA Tot have been anything but consistent and stable.
Due to work schedules, arrests and a realized need for pre-school the situation has changed dramatically four times in the last six months. Presently this places the li’l fellow rising before the crack of dawn and riding to work with Pappy, aka me. Which is why he was riding shotgun last week during…
THE WONDERFULLY RUINED INCIDENT
Sometimes he sleeps the entirety of the 30 minute drive. On others he is fully awake and quite talkative. The latter was the case last week as we drove along on a dark, wet, foggy morning. In the midst of identifying road signs and general Tot chatter we rounded a corner and headed down a hill and came upon a deer. I excitedly pointed out the animal to the alert toddler and simultaneously made a horrific realization: it was deer plural. We were about to drive into an entire herd at 45 m.p.h. If we brake we slide, hit the deer and get rear-ended. Swerve to the right and we hit two of the beasts dead on and flip the truck. To the left we go off road, hit three and flip the truck. There’s only one logical chance—aim for the gap in the middle of the herd and hope for the best. Which leads to the…
Luckily we only caught the second lead doe in her rear flank…she survives with a limp. Her herd has yet to file a lawsuit for attempted faun-slaughter. The truck’s left front took the brunt of the impact, destroying the bumper signal light when it pushed the bumper itself up and into the frame, crumpling the fender’s edge. This damage was repaired with a little constructive crow-barring and a ball peen hammer. During the repairs we noted that the truck had been wrecked in a similar fashion before. This was apparent due to the fact that several pieces, including the grill, were literally glued into place. Oh well, it’s fixed right proper now and should last awhile. What took a matter of seconds to destroy had taken seven hours to repair two days afterwards but for me it was already…
100 YEARS LATER
They say that if something won’t matter in a hundred years, then why worry about it? The problem was that even the next day I was having trouble placing the time frame of the accident. Constantly asking Li’l Red (that’s the wife), “When was that?” It seemed as if the entire incident had happened in an alternate reality and then I’d time-hopped back to the future, to deal with the outcome of a situation I had never been in. Only after the repairs were done and sleep was had did a strange sense of profound calm come to me. It was to be expected because…
PSYCHOLOGICAL PHILOSOPHY COMES AFTERMATH
The Tot’s reaction to the entire ordeal was summed up in his cryptic description of what had happened as he recounted the events to Grammie (that’d be Li’l Red again): “Pappy shot a deer…with his work truck. But he didn’t hurt it…we saw a lot of deer and hit one but it’s OK.” Yes, it was a distant memory shortly after is occurred. For myself…it has lingered, with that infinite moment before impact playing on a constant loop through my mind. The stark realization that it could had gone down far worse. Nightmarish versions of it going far worse…I have killed the deer that leapt through the truck’s window onto my grandson a thousand times in my mind in less than three days.
I’m not a hunter but have no prejudice against those who do; unless it is merely for sport or the simple sake of killing something. There is no guilt or remorse because the incident played out in a manner that was inevitably best for all. Yet I am haunted. Perhaps it is because I have managed to drive safely for years with nary an incident. Or maybe it was because I was allowed to glimpse a living work of art that could have inspire some painter: “Deer Crossing Afore Me Afore Dawn” would make an excellent title. Yes, I bore witness to a living landscape… then drove right through it.
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