That other roadkill post dates from July 1. I finished it by saying So surely I had something else in mind when I began this post? Well, yes. I did. Most emphatically.Yet from that very first thought … etcetera.
OK. On my mind that July day? My cousin John. The one in Brasil. The one who used to live in Brasil, I guess I should say; it’s been past tense now since early March. The one who lay dying on March 6. My birthday. Not that that small detail matters much. It’s simply a marker: hard to forget. And I don’t aim to forget.
John’s brain went silent early on the 7th. The next “month-anniversary” on September 7, if so it may be called, will mark the sixth since his death. His family in Brasil grieves terribly. I grieve in my own way, as do my cousins scattered here and there across North America; yet another cousin’s family is far distant in East Asia. Add in my new, yet unmet cousins in southeast Brasil and that’s five time zones, two hemispheres, 16 time zones.
By happenstance on that March 6, I got a call from a colleague, if you will, in the green burial movement. She wanted me to know that Bri Barton, young woman from the Philly area was swinging by Ithaca for a book talk; had self-published Everything Dies, a coloring book for adults, and did I want to get in touch? So I did. Why not? Drove into town as evening fell and found the venue. When Bri was done I bought the book.
But what I was thinking about that whole time was that family in Brasil.
On the way home my headlights picked up a small white body off to the side of the road. “Possum,” I thought, and drove on. I’m rather fond of possums; they leave the most delightful tracks in the snow. And for anyone unlucky enough to have chronic Lyme, know this — possums are tick hoovers. (More on that some other time.)
Then I thought — looks fresh. Go back. Check it out. I turned around. Pulled over on the shoulder behind it and put on the four-way flashers. I was right. The slightest tinge of blood spoke of a glancing blow to its head. It was still limp, still warm. I had a couple of plastic bags on the floor behind the seat. I double-bagged the possum, turned up my road, pulled into the driveway, and slipped it into the fridge.
Which is where I’ll end tonight. It’s been a long day. I’m done. More anon.