Near miss

The deer stood on the shoulder.  It blended in with the bare winter branches.  I didn’t notice see it until I was passing by.  The radio was on but the sound seemed to fade as my eyes locked with those of the deer.   Their dark liquid eyes have always hypnotized me.  I took my foot off of the gas, coasting.

I glanced in the rearview.  A white pickup followed me.  The deer started suddenly from the shoulder, accelerating immediately, and ran into the side of the truck.  Its spindly legs buckled.  The collision seemed startling but not catastrophic.  The pickup kept going.  The deer rose up on its thin legs and then trotted off back into the woods.  I watched all of this unfold behind me, captivated.

My eyes returned to the road ahead.  My mind churned.  If I had been only a couple seconds later, the deer would have run at my car.  My car was smaller than the pickup and lower to the ground.  The deer could have come through my window.  The thought left me breathless.

There is a haunting palpability to the near miss.  The recoil imprints on the body, echoes amplifying in memory.

One of the first times I went to England, I looked the wrong way before stepping into the street.   I was a fraction of a step away from the roadway when a bus barreled past. I felt the wind from its girth moving by, a whisper on my face, pushing the air between us, leaving a blur of passing glass in my vision, the gritty taste of exhaust in my mouth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s