Saturday, November 20, 2010


I'm out last night after dark, running up a busy street that borders my neighborhood. There's this raccoon running too, across my path. Turning to look over my shoulder, yes damnit there is a car coming and I'm yelling NONONONONOOOONOOOOO but the raccoon doesn't understand me and the car doesn't hear me and yeah.

There now, is the raccoon in the middle of the street. The street is wet, and not particularly well lit, on a hill, on a curve, cars still coming. God, at least the driver pulled over and I'm not alone with this. The raccoon actually rolls over now, she's still alive. Whew! ...wait, Agh! This is worse, isn't it? Fuck.

She's just laying there on her stomach, her head up, composed. Cars are swerving around her. I can't tell if there is blood or guts on the wet black. She's got her front paws stretched daintily out in front, just looking around. This is the exact same pose Willie strikes on the back of the couch at her most content, falling asleep with her head high.

This is really sucking because I don't know what to do and this guy is pacing around going WHAT DO I DO? SHOULD I DRIVE OVER IT AGAIN? I CAN'T DO THAT! WHAT DO I DO? And she's out there in the street nonchalantly not dead, cars swerving around her. She's a wild animal, I can't go out there and pick her up. Besides, I'm wearing all black fullpantslongsleevesblack... I'm gonna be killed with her if I walk out into the street.

Calling Clark, no answer. Calling non-emergency punching through their prohibitive phone tree. And dude, I'm shaking and trying not to cry. Does anybody think, it's just a fucking raccoon? Because I'm feeling like I should think that. I don't know why. At the same time, if you said "it's just a raccoon, geez" I'd hate you.

Cars are swerving around her and this guy is running up and down knocking on doors that nobody is answering. I'm wringing my hands. Police non-emergency has office hours. They're closed. Can't type on this stupid iphone keyboard with hands shaking. Dove Lewis? Animal Control? Cuddle hotline?

After 10 forever minutes of this the raccoon, oh horror she tries to get up. Then, umm... she walks right off past me up into the dark street of houses. No blood dripping, guts dragging -- she's wholly intact.

She doesn't seem to even be limping but this still can't be good right? I saw her, heard her get hit, hard. Maybe she just got brushed by the bumper and rolled under the car? She's probably going to find a place to die? I'm totally confused though. Can I cry yet? I don't have any reason now. She's not dead! She looks fine! Except that my chest is pent the fuck up with anxiety. I'm a riot in a dispersing crowd.

Life is going on. Someone blares their horn at the car parked there with hazard lights. Clark is still not answering his phone. I'm cold now, and wet with sweat. The raccoon is gone. She doesn't want our help. It's just me and this kid and he's like, UM, BETTER GET GOING. SORRY YOU HAD TO SEE THAT.

Now it's just me, staring into traffic. I'm two miles from home, looking and feeling like a shadow. I've lost the heart of my run but it's cold out here so I jog stiffly home.


eclectic said...

I'm so glad you're writing more, but I'm sorry for the dreadful experience that prompted this one. "I'm a riot in a dispersing crowd" has got to be the absolute best verbal description of the post-adrenaline echo I've ever read.

Roy said...

I hate that. Suffering seems to be one of those things that God or evolution can't seem to get rid of, as it has little bearing on the big scheme of things. Before we put our little cat, Pea Pah, down, the vet spoke of something he called an "agonal death," as if it was a hangnail . . .

However, all that said, raccoons are tough tough tough. Evolution was kind.

Kristiana said...

Shari - I'm trying to write once and awhile. Thanks for noticing!

Roy - Yeah, suffering poses a real philosophical and emotional conflict for us humans. The biggest, I would venture.

Thank God raccoons are tough. I really hope tough was enough.

asha said...

My god. I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through that story. Lucky the little critter sprung back and tottered off and good for you and the kid for caring. I sure wish there were more people like you guys in the world. Anyway, thanks. Touching story and, oh yeah, add me to the top of the list of people who are really glad to see you posting more. :)

someone said...

post-adrenaline echo. I like that too.

love that you're writting.



About Me