12.02.2005

Yes, Deer

What is it about deer that inspires such awe? I got a family of three caught in my headlights this evening as I pulled in my driveway, and the incongruity of the scene rendered me as motionless as they. My house is flanked in front by a main road that runs parallel to the Interstate, but behind us is all woods. As I turned off the ignition and stared into the strange glow of the smallest deer's face, time seemed to stop. The picture of serene immobility muted the sound of so many tractor trailers and the noise of lives lived in fast forward. For several minutes we just stared at each other, until I turned off the headlights and stepped out of the car. I expected them to retreat. I thought they would run away in keeping with the holiday rush. But they didn't seem to be in any hurry as they turned sideways to inspect the cold grass with their muzzles. They wandered through the upper right corner of our property, and if the clock of unreality was no longer standing still, it was certainly taking its time. It could almost make a person (me) love all the things she thought she hated: the place, the season, the way small things get big so fast. It was almost too much. I slammed my car door shut to see what it would take to make them leave.

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