I just passed a horrific deer massacre on HWY 36, between Cameron
and Hannibal. Five or six of them came charging across
the highway—I could see them cross the Westbound lanes and berm,
and I eased up on the gas, measuring distance between deer
and road and speed and if a deer is travelling 15 MPH and you
are travelling 70-ish, but the eighteen wheeler ahead of me
either didn't see or didn't have options, so the deer, as one,
ran directly into the side of it. I've never seen anything like it.
Like the break shot in pool, the way they scattered, spinning
across the highway one two three four five. Maybe the first one
cleared the cab, I don't know, I hope so, for all our sakes,
but the rest came spinning at me down the highway, so many
spinning tops or fireworks, dead and wondering eyes, heavy
and pinwheeling bodies. My swerving meant nothing, but
I swerved, a little onto the shoulder, ba dum, and the lilting back
onto the highway and then it's just me and the eighteen wheeler,
like none of this just happened. So is the driver thinking about it?
Is the driver shaking right now, glad to be alive? Laughing even?
I don't want to know. I suddenly have never less wanted to know
anything in my entire life. And here I am overtaking it, about ready
to pass. So, do I look up? Do I hope to see the knowing look
in the driver's eyes? A kind of lamenting Jesus for us all? Peace
unto you, the least of my children? At some point you find yourself
home or wherever you're going. Easy enough to say. But even there
the moments pile up. "In aggregate" someone on the radio
just said about something to do with presidents or the justice
department, I wasn't really listening. But I caught that. "In
aggregate" I repeat. IN AGGREGATE. How, in aggregate,
we make it home. In aggregate, there will be more deer tomorrow
attempting HWY 36. In aggregate, you will run out of time
as if it were a house and then a house on fire, and you
will look back and wonder where you are, where anyone is.