Tuesday, October 24

True story

Sunday afternoon was quiet around here. Jon and the kids were working in the yard, Egan was tucked ever so sweetly in his cozy warm bed, and I was experiencing the mid-load doldrums...that and the communication breakdown with my life partner of Seven Years. You know, "the itch." I needed an out. In my attempts to cling to the very last unraveling threads of my near nonexistent independence, I hopped in the '95 to see if the iTrip could work in the FM-less 10-year-old car. No such luck with the stereo, but I did continue cruising west on 20, catching glimpses of the impending extinction of this year's fall colors way up here in Zone 5. The best part is going over the Iowa River near Pine Lake State Park. A breathtakingly gorgous view from the highway as you look down on the valley, the prairie, the river, the trees.

I ended up talking to my dear Monica and decided to head to Des Moines. Two hours in the car is perfect. Not too terribly long, not too terribly short. Enough time to enjoy the hog confinements dotting the horizon.

After yet another delightful evening spent with Monica and Tim (and it's pronounced ThEE-len, as Monica gently reminded me the night of Ween), I headed home, belly full of lasagna. I managed through the incessant revitalization of 235 through Des Moines, and continued cruising onto the open constructionless 35.

That, however, does not mean there weren't any obstacles.

Respecting the need to preserve petro in these times, I chose to drive in the far right lane, navigating at no more than 65 miles per hour, listening to a band Monica wanted me to hear. Suddenly my eyes are drawn to mad amounts of blood and guts strewn about my neighboring left lanes.

Nasty, is the word I hear in my head.

For what seemed like an entire 3/4 of a mile the blood got redder and redder, the entrails thickened.

NASTY, I continue to now say out loud over and over and over and over...

All of a sudden my eyes dart back to my lane and there, instantly before me, is the very carcass whose innards were no longer in. An empty shell of a body with a full ribcage and head. Right in my lane. Right in front of me!

Having never encountered a deer, dead or alive, this real-time ever before, I took my foot of the gas, got to the 10-and-2 position, and braced myself. Swerving to the other lane was not an option. Although now that I think of it, the exit ramp I almost careened onto after coming this close to taking down that very exit's sign could have been an out. Hindsight's great, isn't it?

[insert expletives here]

There was no thump as I drove over the body. It was a crack-boom-bang. This was the biggest pile-of-bricks deer carcass I have ever driven over. First and EVER! I instantly lost control of the '95. There was the exit sign, as I fishtailed by, tires screeching, the odor of burning rubber filling my nose as I 360'd across the lanes of the interstate. Not sure how the passing cars dodged me.

The car stopped as I faced the northbound-southbound divider, perpendicular to the flow of traffic. The CD began playing again. I glanced left, I guess to see if any cars were coming at me? I remember seeing a semi having stayed in the carcass-filled far right lane that created this excitement. Snapping back to reality, trembling, I started the car and slowly drove on the shoulder. Just as I started moving, I heard more screeching tires behind me thinking this was now becoming a major five-hundred car pile up. Continuing along the shoulder I see in my rearview mirror the car's headlights behind me follow the exact crazy pattern I followed to where I finally stopped.

I cut the engine as I realized the guy had pulled in front of me. We both shot out of our cars to assess the situation. My car was completely untouched while his lost it's muffler and now adorned dangling deer guts on his rear axl.

For the next 20 miles all I could say was, "Oh my gosh...oh my gosh..." Thoughts of my children and my husband flooded my head. Oh my gosh...oh my gosh...oh my gosh... I continued as the what COULD have happeneds kept popping up. They. Were. Endless.

And somehow, some way I was ok. A bit of a perspective jolt to remind me of how good I have it. Especially when I forget. Somebody was trying to tell me something Sunday, while watching over me during this whole experience.

Loud and clear. I get it.

EDITOR'S NOTE: On our way back from Des Moines yesterday for the Sprinter's doctor appointment, I saw the blood stained pavement surrounded by crazy tiremarks. PTSD, dude. Totally.


mamafitz said...

Scary! glad to hear all is back to normal.

Julie & Peter said...

as my husband would say, "DOOOOOOOOOOD, no way!"

IowaJasper said...

Holy Shit! I'd still be shakin'