The Misadventures of Quinxy truths, lies, and everything in between!

22May/130

Hello, Goodbye Lovely Turtle

byebyeturtleHow quickly life can remind you that a day can be a truly miserable thing.  Today mine started with a major fight with my girlfriend, Francine.  In an attempt to escape the poisoned atmosphere of the house we set off on a pleasant but utilitarian outing.  Any facade of pleasantness was instantly destroyed about 45 minutes later when I saw a huge, lovely turtle run over by a truck.

It died because I failed to save it.  I saw the turtle emerging from the tall grass by the side of the road and stopped as quickly as I could, about 80 feet down the road (the speed limit was 45 mph, there was no shoulder, lots of cars behind me, I pulled off into a side road).  I got out and began to go back towards the turtle but in those few moments it had moved far faster than I ever could have imagined and was already a third of the way into the traffic lane.  A large passenger bus saw it but only drifted over the line to avoid running it over directly.  The under draft knocked it along the lane and into the tires of a following pick up.

Life sometimes seems like a collection of utterly meaningless, pointless, forgettable moments punctuated by a few occasionally horrible and some wonderful moments.  I envy the folk who see it as a more uniformly joyous procession.

I'd never seen a turtle so large on the East coast, it was at least 1.5 feet long, surely had lived a long time to get that size, and surely would have lived a longer time still.  I'm not sure what I could have done differently, tried to step into traffic to flag people down, stopped my car in traffic and tried to alert people, I just had no idea there was so little time.  We often imagine there's plenty of time left, to see relatives, to see friends, to be happy, to accomplish great things...  Often there is not.

I cried like a baby on the drive home.  I cried for the turtle.  I cried for the horrendously capricious nature of life and death.  I cried for my impotence; my life these days seems nothing but trying to help others only to witness their fruitless suffering.  And I cried for the fact that I was crying, unable to accept life on its cruelly unacceptable terms.

We humans are sick, sadistic creatures, selectively choosing what and who we care about.  Today I mourned the death of a turtle I didn't know, and cursed the driver of the killing vehicle, but I thought and cared little about the hundreds of mosquitoes, ants, and other bugs I likely killed in the remaining portion of the car ride home; I strongly suspect I killed or wounded two butterflies.  But for some reason that turtle mattered most, that poor, beautiful, stupid, wonderful, turtle.  I am so sorry I failed you.

^ Quinxy

Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.


Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.