My Only Way Out

(is to go so far in)

I am completely fine

Posted by Cauri on October 26, 2006

Two weeks ago, I was tempted to write a post about deer. Whenever I drive home from S&G’s house, the deer are usually roaming about (11pm seems to be their prime time). I always creep along the road, pausing to make eye contact, to make sure each deer realizes that I’m there. I’ve developed this sort of connection with them. When I notice them creeping through the long grass, making their way to the side of the road, I will them away. I stop my car, pause to admire them, and usually they glance up at me, eye me curiously, and turn back. I normally see anywhere from 10 to 20 deer on the ten-minute drive to my house, and I’ve just gotten in this routine of creeping, of admiring, of willing them away, and continuing home.

Let me begin by saying, yesterday was a rotten day to begin with. An unpredictable, awful day. I set my alarm for 6am, planning to wake up and refresh my mind on my oceanography terms, to have a cup of coffee and a full breakfast, and to head off to take my 8:30 oceanography exam in a jolly mood.  Reality: Ryan called me at 7:45, asking why I hadn’t left my house yet. I panicked, scrambled to take a shower, ripped a button off my favorite jeans, raced to pour coffee down my throat, was greeted by my Surprise! early period, and walked into class 45 minutes late, to learn that, indeed, the exam had been postponed to next week.  The day was filled with these irregularities, but I thought nothing of it.  I continued about my day.  I was happy. 

Last night I was originally supposed to babysit for S&G, but they got bumped to Thursday.  Last night I headed out to babysit in Rockaway.  As I was driving home, I turned my music off.  I wanted to be alone with my thoughts.  I wanted to clear my head.  I wanted to soak up the silence.  Two minutes of soaking up the silence was interrupted by a female deer, galloping straight into my car. 

I did not even have time to react.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw her head bobbing up and down enthusiastically, as I realized she was right about to smack into the hood of my car.  I slammed on the brakes and was terrified by the screech.  She flipped onto the hood.  Her back grazed the windshield, coming straight for my face.  My car halted, she slid underneath.  I screamed.  I put the car in reverse and gunned it.  I didn’t know where I was going, but I couldn’t look forward.  I couldn’t stand to look at the sight of a precious life taken by me.

As I flew backwards down the road, I noticed her two relatives, standing on the side of the road, staring at me, horrified.  They couldn’t figure out what happened.  They couldn’t figure out who or what I was.  I stared at them.  I didn’t know what happened either.  How could she not have seen me?  was all I was thinking.  In front of me, the deer started looking around maniacally.  She struggled to stand.  Then she scampered off into the woods, away from her relatives.  Part of me wanted to follow her.  To find her.  To make sure she understood that I never meant to hurt her.  I wanted to throw up.  She could’ve come through the windshield.  I could’ve been killed.  I’m completely fine. I pulled myself together.  I called Ryan and very calmly told him what had happened, and that I was completely fine.  My car was still running.  I didn’t want to get out and look at the damage.  I didn’t want to know if the deer was laying dead on the other side of those trees.  I just wanted to go home.  My dad would check the car for me before I got out.  I called to make sure that he would.

Driving home, I slammed on my brakes at the sight of every rustle of every leaf on every tree.  I averted three more deer, crossing the street right by my house, and I sat there in the darkness for a long time afterward, just in case a fourth deer scurried across at the last minute.  I waited there until another car pulled up behind me and flashed his highbeams. 

When I pulled up the street, my dad came out with a huge flashlight.  I was prepared for the worst–A bloody massacre on the hood of my car, everything dented, fur flying all around.  My dad started mouthing, “Where did it hit you?”  I was confused.  I got out of the car.  I couldn’t find any marks.  My dad located two little scratches, and some fur scattered here & there.  My car was completely fine.  I was completely fine.

I can’t tell you what that phrase means to me right now.

I am completely fine.

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