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Monday, March 25, 2013

The Deer Is Dead

So the deer is dead
I'm half thinking as I jump up and down
The drum and crinkle of thin sheetmetal accompanying me

What am I jumping on?
I'll get to that

This all started on my way home Saturday night
Or Sunday morning
Depending on how you view such things

It was 1 am

I was only three miles from home
Driving the superhighway of US-23 at 55 mph or so
And I was just passing the cemetery where my father is buried
Beneath his stone bench
With his name, birth and death dates upon it
And, disturbingly to my children
My mother's name and birth date upon it
Even though she is still alive

We told them that was perfectly normal
As she plans on being buried there

But it is a stark reminder of life and death

Just past the cemetery
Four deer trot out into my headlight beams
I was about fifty feet from them
And they were covering the entire road with their four-in-a-line march

I aim for the empty spots in the herd when such things happen
It's gotten me through numerous close calls in the past
But there really weren't any this time
At least none big enough for the whole width of the car

On my brakes hard
But not nearly enough distance to stop from 55
I aimed between the tail end of deer #2 and the front of deer #3
Perhaps the gap would miraculously widen by the time I got there
But it didn't

I smacked into the rear end of deer #2 at about 25 mph

Which doesn't seem like much when you say it like that.

But it was enough to break his back and kill him
At least I figured that's what happened
As he was certainly dead when I went back to check on him
Eyes wide open
Tongue hanging out
Classic deer death pose
Though his hind end was strangely twisted

I resisted the urge to rearrange him in a more natural position
I'm not the deer mortician
What do I know?

I walked back the the car
With it's right front looking just like I'd hit a deer
The relatively thin sheetmetal of the hood concaved in
But not as bad as it could have been

None of the other deer stuck around
I suppose you learn to move on quickly when you are a whitetail deer in Michigan

Which brings me back to Sunday
Right now
Which finds me jumping up and down on top of my smashed hood

I'd taken it off
And tried to imagine how the heck I was going to straighten it out enough to use
The only thing coming to mind was removing it and laying it upside down in the leafiest, softest part of my yard
And jumping up and down on the dents

Thinking about the dumb dead deer and his friends
Walking around the roads at night
And dumb alive me and my little car
Driving around the roads at night

One of the two of us needs to change their habits

The hood?
It didn't turn out half bad, considering