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Life and Death in Boulder Creek

The insulating quality of the woods surrounding the houses and the hypnotic trill of the crickets and frogs serve to keep the rush of the world over the hill out of your consciousness. The sort of people who both live and work here like to think of themselves as small-town folk, live-and-let-live don't-tread-on-me sort of people who do whatever they want to on their property and don't mind if anyone else does the same as long as we all mind our own business.

Which is fine, until one persons business intersects with another. But the thing is this: the street on which I live is one of three major arteries leading over the hill, and people drive it as though it's a major highway rather than a long, twisting residential street. They seem to think that the rules are different as long as they're in their cars. I know I'm even guilty of it, but I also know that I can stop quickly enough to avoid most anything I might encounter - like the deer I saw two weeks ago.

I spent a lot of time outside yesterday when I got home. I did laundry, which needed to be hung on the line (we still don't have a dryer) and took some metal shelves out of the garage and put them where the gardening stuff is going to live. As I was dragging the shelves outside, the neighbor's dog came flying down our driveway to pee in our bushes. There are four houses on our driveway, and none of them has a fence around it, so this dog is sort of always hanging around. As are the cats who belong to that house as well. I don't know if these people feed their animals, and the dog can be mean, so I'm unhappy that they never tie it up. I do know that the litter of kittens that showed up under our porch was the fifth this cat has had.

I went back upstairs just as dusk was really beginning to darken. I could barely see the other side of the creek, and the evening symphony was in full swing when I heard screeching tires and what can only be described as a dog screaming. The sound built to a harrowing crescendo then died out, only to be replaced by a man's voice wailing "I'm sorry! Oh God, no! Oh, help! I'm sorry!" I stood absolutely still for a few seconds. Long enough to know that the situation wasn't going to get any worse at this point. The damage had been done and could not be undone. There were no sirens, because animals do not merit sirens and the dead don't need them.

And during the entire little drama, the crickets never stopped. The bats came out, I hung wash on the line. The fabric of time and space stretched just enough to allow time to stop in one tiny place for a few seconds, and then snapped back without showing a mark.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
mortaine
Sep. 16th, 2004 10:37 am (UTC)
:(
wordweaverlynn
Sep. 16th, 2004 01:15 pm (UTC)
God, how chilling.
kr8vkat
Sep. 16th, 2004 04:55 pm (UTC)
[shudder]
I feel for the poor (dead) dog, to have owners so careless they let it wander freely near a main road.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )