Today I am full of sorrow and guilt. I must report that I am a destroyer. I have snuffed the life out of one of God's creatures and left it a smeared mess on the highway. I did not do this horrible thing on purpose. It was completely unintentional. Up to this point the only things I've ever killed have been various bugs- houseflies, an ant here and there, spiders (shudder). But an actual intelligent creature, never.
It all started when I left my folks' house late last night. I opened the door to exit through the garage. A strong odor reached my nostrils immediately. The smell was unmistakeable! There was a skunk nearby! I tip-toed through the garage with heightened senses, ready to bolt at the slightest shuffle on the pavement or flash of black and white fluff. I reached my car unscathed and breathed a sigh of relief. If only I had know then that what I had just experienced was a dark omen of things to come.
I was driving down the dark highway. I was enthusiastically singing along to 10cc's "The Things We Do For Love". Some of the harmonies in that song are a little difficult and require a lot of focus to nail. I was at such a moment in the song... "You think you're gonna break up, then she says she wants to make up..." Suddenly a little black and white creature scampered into the beam of my headlights. There was nothing to be done. There was no way I was going to swerve. I know better than that. It was too close to slam on the brakes. I braced myself for the inevitable. I took my foot off the gas and let out a long high-pitched scream... THUNK THUNK! "Ooooooh..." Then I was overcome by the most powerful odoriferous stench of my life! I could hardly breathe! My eyes were watering! I rolled down the windows even though it was cold outside. The shivering was a small price to pay for not having to breathe that thick, poisonous air!
I had to share my ordeal with someone. Still in shock, I called up my brother to tell him. My tone was somewhere between stunned laughter and horrified guilt. After the expected, "Ew, gross! Does it smell? etc..." he closed the conversation with, "Well, congratulations on your first kill."
My first kill, indeed. It keeps playing over and over in my mind. It's all I can think about. I'll always be haunted by the beady-eyed, furry little guy whose remains now lie in the middle of Pioneer Crossing. And probably a little in the tread of my tire.