The birds and the beasts were there. On the way in the winding car of colleagues, eager to see bunnies and farmkid arts and crafts (I’m a llama woman, myself), I was bitching out fantastic all my being an American. It was a few weeks ago, the Sunday before the RNC. The arrests riling, piling up. Palin just selected, starting to flail in our throw up. In bumper to bumper no-go traffic through residential Saanich, my fervor was other otherworldly, magnificent and deadly and I was aware of it. The hate and my outrage bordering on absurdity.
Anger is a prickly fiend. Hand on my shoulder I am with you, friend twisting me up, leaving, the tension behind tormenting, tight muscles seething in my back and neck. My shoulders ride high and my head strains forward, grotesque, I can’t relax. I am bent up, disfigured by current events and continuing to deform as I explain it to my friends: the status whoa, the reconstituted blog barf, hearsay hear, hear! and heresy otherwise known as the freedoom of speech, feeling ugly and sideways I’m being so negative but unable to keep it to myself when suddenly, the minivan ahead of us turning left slams into an oncoming scooter.
Slow speeds merge into further slow motion—the slowest fast thing I’ve seen in my life. The driver on the bike managed to stay on it, but the passenger behind him flew off, up, over the hood of the van, tumbling and sliding, limbs bowing weird, wrong ways and taking forever. A body become what it is—a squishy sack of bones, blood and fat, bendy and breakable.
At last she landed on the pavement, conscious, trying to sit up, shatter the spell of shock enough to start screaming. Strangers streamed from cars consoling, swearing, ambulance calling and chorusing oh my god.
It shut me up. Finally. I couldn’t speak for fifteen minutes, eyes huge and hand clamped to my mouth like a cartoon. This is where I am. Not in Minneapolis. Not on the internet. I am right here, shaken, and sick.
I went to the animal fair.
The birds and the beasts were there.