Dudes. I’ll be honest. I haven’t been writing much because I’ve been battling a major case of writer’s block. It’s hard to find things to write about when you’re unemployed and having to agonize over decisions like whether or not you can afford to get a fro-yo.
However, last weekend that twisted heffer called Life gifted me with something to write about, at the expense of a falcon. I was driving back to Tampa after spending a weekend at my sister’s place in Tallahassee, when I saw the low-flying bird to my left. I didn’t think anything of it, as I’ve seen many a low-flying bird on the interstate in my time, and they always manage to escape just before getting hit. I’m no physics wiz, and while the bird looked like it was on a deadly course with my front bumper, I figured the speed at which it was flying was just fast enough to avoid collision.
Nope. It was as if the world switched into slo-mo, and I stared helplessly into the beady eye of that poor bastard as the inevitable happened.
The sound that bird’s body made as it collided into my bumper was so loud, it woke up my dog. I felt like Ralphie in A Christmas Story when he dropped the bolts:
I felt bad, although there really wasn’t anything I could have done. There was a car beside me in the left-hand lane, so I couldn’t move (not that it would have mattered, since the bird was coming in on my left anyway), and it’s not like one can just hit the breaks on the interstate. An exit was coming up, and I knew I should get off to examine the damage, but the idea of seeing an awful mixture of beak, blood, and feathers on the side of my car was too much to handle. So I gripped the steering wheel with the resolve to drive the rest of the way home and hope that whatever was on my car, if there was anything on my car, would fly off. As I continued to drive, though, another thought wormed its way into my brain: what if whatever was on my car didn’t fly off, and I’m driving down the interstate with the remains of a huge dead bird on my car for all the motorists and their tap-dancing nephews to see? Somehow, that scenario was worse, so I got off at the next exit, parked in the edge of a Verizon Store parking lot, took a deep breath to steel myself, got out, and walked to the front of the car.
Nothing. There was nothing there, other than what looked to be a small amount of bird shit. I blinked and leaned in closer. Yup, definitely just some bird shit. There were no scratches, no dents. You never would have known that just moments before, a large talon-ed creature flew into a motor vehicle that was going 75 miles per hour. I let out a sigh of relief and continued homeward, wondering what became of the falcon. I pictured its beady eye over and over again as a thought formulated itself in my mind: What. A. Dumbass.
NOTE: Edited version of this story can be found on my Patch blog.