Mmmm … let me qualify this. That image — roadkill? What’s just impaled my mind isn’t so much the animal knocked unconscious well off the side of the road, with maybe a little blood oozing from its mouth and yet undiscovered by an army of scavengers and decomposers. Rather it’s the one slammed midway across the road at dusk and nailed repeatedly throughout the night. You know what I mean. It’s disturbing, actually. Unsettling. Because beyond the sheer messiness of it lies another layer — the vulnerability of death, of lying exposed and gutted on hard pavement. Maybe that’s why so many of us swerve to avoid roadkill, should we see it in time.
But it’s not such a good idea, any more than swerving to avoid a chicken crossing a road is, though these instincts are damn hard to avoid. No time to consider the consequences — we’ve already hit the brakes.
I’ve known of people who wrapped themselves around a tree that way and spent the rest of their lives in a wheelchair.
But mainly what’s in the back of my mind right now is … that I should be so lucky. To live in a place distant from all those other places. A place where the occasional road-killed possum or woodchuck or deer is a proxy of sorts for the mass slaughter of scores, hundreds, thousands of creatures. Children. Elephants. Women. Gazelles. Men. Bonobos. Refuges. Babies girls boys nurses doctors women men males cubs wolves females herds flocks prides fleeing … refugees. Thousands. Millions.
So many dying. So many dead.
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 …. If you don’t know me well, just know this: I go off-topic for any of a kazillion reasons, none of which I understand. Circuitous thinking—that’s my specialty. So let me try again to qualify this, then let it be. The transition from how I began this post to where I’ve ended up and beyond, back to the idea as I first conceived it? It ain’t gonna happen. Not in this post, and probably not for a while.