These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

el venado

i know i'm doing this backwards, but that's the kind of guy i am. i like to mix it up. since i've not blogged in several weeks, why not now. let the floodgates open wide.

our trip was almost not a trip. we might not have made it out of michigan last saturday on our way to o'hare in chicago.

we were headed south on I-196 on the 17 or so mile marker when it happened.

i remember dawn saying, "oh." then she said, "i'm going to hit a deer." she was calm when she said it. my insides roiled. i panicked because i knew what could happen is a car strikes a deer. people can get hurt or die. i prepared. all of this happened in seconds.

dawn slowed, but really couldn't do much because there was a car right behind her. there were cars just slightly behind us to ourleft and right. and there were others behind those. so dawn slowed a bit, but only enough. anymore and the car behind us would have hit us.

the deer had emerged from the grassy median and ran across the highway.

it struck the front area where the license plate would go, then it slammed into the front of the hood and then it flew at an angle to the right toward my side and it struck the extreme upper corner of the windshield and where the top corner of the door is located. all i saw was a dark object coming across. then a thud. then the antenna was gyrating back and forth as it was struck by the deer.

dawn looked back and saw nothing. then she noticed the deer off to one side near an exit ramp. we kept going for a bit, we couldn't stop because of the traffic. i called 911 and reported the hit deer. someone had already reported it. we stopped a few miles down the road and examained the damage. we didn't know if where was any. we couldn't see it. but there was. the plate where the license plate would go flew off and the headlight is pushed in some. there a big dent on our hood, as if a very large person sat on it. when i saw it today, it reminded me of a sheet of foil that's had a hand push it down to form a big dent in it.

we lucked out that a cop stopped as we examined the car. he helped us out a lot. he gave us the number to call for a report. we filed a police reprt there through the phone.

we then drove the car to chicago, where it stayed at laura's place. saturday we drove it back. it runs fine. luckily the motor was undamaged. it was so crazy. it that deer had not flown off at an angle, it would have come straight into the windshield. i don't know what kind of shit would have happened, but i think we wouldn't have gotten away scot free. it was a big deer. dawn said it had no anglers. still, the impact could have driven it in a different direction.

we count our lucky stars.