May 30, 2005
happy memorial day story
Was on my bike, riding west on Rte. 209, up a hill. Up ahead, a roadkill deer lay in the generous shoulder. I stood up out of the saddle to pedal past and held my breath against the smell. But there was no smell, and just as I road by the deer goes, "ehhhvvffttt," but with more of a gurgle. It was my first death rattle, a figure of speech made real, and not likely to be forgotten.
Years ago, a then-friend told me of a horrific traffic accident she'd witnessed, passenger ejected, and there was a death rattle in that story, too. The noise she made then was just like the deer's on Sunday.
Posted by dbrown at May 30, 2005 11:34 PM
and then what did you do? is that really the end of the story?
a real question, though not precisely a fair one (or two). especially since it took me two weeks to muster the courage to clean up the carcass of the mouse that chose to die in my winter clothes closet. whose smell inhabited my apartment when I returned from a trip. and whose rattling stumble into the closet I had half-witnessed and chose to avoid, as either a thought or a physical reality. today I learned that their hair falls loose from their skin as the skin decays away, and the maggots and bacteria consume the internal organs, but not the liver--I think--or the shell. and though I scrubbed the floor with bleach, you can still see a shadow of the mouse's body, very distinctly.
the roads are littered with dead deeer, rabbits, woodchucks. And unlike that kid in Powder, I have no deer-reviving powers.