Deer crossing the street. Photo credit johnhayesphotography.wordpress.com

Deer crossing the street. Photo credit johnhayesphotography.wordpress.com




This morning I woke up angry.  Or perhaps just pissed at everything in general, which, as I write this, realize its pretty much the same as being angry, but feels better to type “pissed”.  It was my second wake up.  I had a wake up at 1 a.m.  I tried to go back to sleep staying under covers for three hours.  Should I get up and write? the productive side of me rationalized.  No, just lay here and wait for sleep to come. the stubborn side argues.

A dark rain cloud hovers over my head.  The rain needs to wash out, empty all my thoughts onto the ground, lighten my spirit.  Around 10 a.m. I admit I am angry. I drive to the gym to work it out in a healthy sweat.

Slowly, I squeak out of the parking lot.  The right back tire joint on my car was damaged by a pot hole last month.  Now a squeak follows me everywhere I drive.  As soon as I get some extra money I’ll have it looked at.  The squeak reminds me I do not have extra money.  It is an annoying squeak, well into it’s second month of complaint.

At the stop sign a Happy Valley deer walks across the street to my left.  I wait for her to cross.  No other cars in sight, we share this moment alone.  I watch her cross, spying a hiccup in her walk. Her back right hip is noticeably irritated. Slowly she makes her way towards the bush-thick lot.

She limps.

It is a quiet moment.

I hurt for the deer with every step.

…The last hoof leaves the street. She disappears behind a green curtain.


My car continues its path to the gym announcing its presence a block ahead of any that have ears to hear.  Seven Pearl Jam albums shuffle in my ear-buds as I get my heart rate up on the elliptical.

Talk me down Eddie. 

Afterwards, walking out to my car I see a familiar face.  The man who frequents the alley walks up with three large garbage bags of aluminium cans.  He’s very productive. Last Thursday I saw him scoop up old pizza from the restaurant’s garbage bin and feed it to the seagulls.  He has done this before, the birds were following him, waiting for this exact moment.

Armfuls of pizza.

He sings to them.

The birds loudly applaud.

The smile on his face is contagious; I smile with him as I stand near my car.

Coming down off my anger-high the desire to get to a proper keyboard overtakes me.  I sit here, now, sweat dry and sticking to my shirt.

I am a deer laying in the valley surrounded by green, licking my hip, full of grace, asking for mercy.



“Hey, Shannon, relax. Everythings gonna be alright.” -Eddie Vedder




2 thoughts on “Once

  1. Love how your anger was eclipsed by the reality check of how others live their lives: the guy in the alley, the wounded deer, even your squeaky car. Nice job…hope you feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

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