So yesterday was a full moon. Normally I don’t take much stock in that stuff—I may notice my kids are a little wound up but that’s usually the worst thing that happens.
My mom always calls to remind me of the full moon. To say that my mom is into the whole “new age” thing is like saying June Cleaver likes to keep a clean house.
I never can keep up with the things I’m supposed to do on the full moon and I never can distinguish the difference between the new moon and the full moon. You would think that living close to the coast would make me more aware of the moon phases but it hasn’t. I just know that we have a moon and that we may or may not have walked on it and that it is definitely not made out of cheese.
I started back to school yesterday. My last class ends around 7:30 p.m., so it is just starting to get dark outside when I leave to go home.
To get from downtown Savannah to Richmond Hill, I have to take I-16 to I-95. Normally, this is an uneventful trip that takes about 20 minutes. But last night, I had a drive home that was a cross between the movie Creepshow and a Mexican circus.
The on-ramp that connects the two interstates is a long sloping curve that loops me almost in the opposite direction, so I have to slow down quite a bit. As I’m crawling along in my minivan, I notice a large dark lump on the side of the road.
There is no one behind me, so I slow down even more so I can see what this weird figure is. It looks like a dead dog but it just doesn’t look right. As I get closer, I notice that the head of the dead animal is quite large compared to the body.
Then I finally get close enough to solve the mystery. It is a dead baby donkey. But that’s not all—it’s wearing a small sombrero and a homemade flower-print dress. I felt like time was standing still for the next few moments.
“What in the hell?” I mumbled to myself. I realized it was time to merge into the fast-paced traffic on I-95. I shook my head and tried to rid my brain of that horrible image.
“Did that poor animal just fall off of the circus truck or what?” I turned down the radio and drove in total silence for the next five minutes. I racked my brain and tried to think of a time when I saw something more bizarre than that dead baby donkey.
I tried to make myself feel better by thinking, “Maybe it was just a miniature and not a baby.” I have no idea how that is any better but it made me feel better for some reason.
Then I started getting upset again. Who leaves an animal in a homemade dress on the side of the road?
I had an image of a sweet old man who runs some sort of low rent circus/petting zoo for children’s birthday parties. He pulls up in his driveway and goes to the back of his truck to let out all of his little animals and realizes that his baby donkey with the small hat is missing. He of course sobs like a baby and retraces his steps back to the on-ramp to retrieve his coveted performer.
|This guy gets paid to get rid of dead animals|
I reach for my cell phone and call my sister and tell her what has just happened. She starts laughing which makes me start laughing so hard I have tears coming down my face—probably not a safe way to drive home. We always laugh at inappropriate situations—I’m sure my therapist would attribute this behavior to some sort of coping mechanism.
When we finally take a breath, she says, “That reminds me of Daddy’s old white van that he sold.”
“What are you talking about?”
She says, “Remember how he sold that old van to those people who said that were gonna use it to go around and pick up dead animals?”
Somehow I had forgotten about that. We come from a large farming and dairy community, so disposing of dead farm animals is big business back home.
People pay money to have someone come out to their dairy or farm to pick up and dispose of dead animals. I have no idea what this service costs, but I would imagine they get paid pretty well.
After I hung up the phone, I thought about our conversation. I realized it was weird that I was so accepting of the fact that our old family vehicle was being used to pick up dead farm animals but I was almost traumatized by the dead donkey.
When I was a teenager, I never thought twice about the times I got stuck on the highway behind the “Used Cow Dealer” guy—the back of his truck was filled with dead cows from local dairies. Sometimes the cows weren’t completely dead. The smell was more than horrible and the reality should have made me a vegetarian.
But I think we are able to accept the reality of the world around us much better when we are younger. I think children are capable of accepting things for what they are and not over-analyzing things too much like adults do.
So, when my mom calls me this morning to check up on me, I tell her I’m fine.
She says, “You know, yesterday was a full moon. Did anything weird happen to you?”
I just sigh and say, “Nope, I just saw a dead baby donkey wearing a sundress on the side of the interstate.”
Mom is distracted and says, “Well that’s good.”
I’m wandering where the conversation is going. Then she asks, “Have you heard anything else about your house?”
Then I realize that I haven’t any thought about the looming foreclosure and money woes associated with my house in a few days. And more importantly, I haven’t thought about my ex or how mad I was with him about the house situation.
“Nope, I haven’t heard anything but I’ll call the bank again today and see what’s going on with the paperwork.”
And then I feel the feeling I have been longing for—indifference. I love this feeling because it means that I’m not using up all my energy on hate. Once again I’m indifferent to my ex and it feels great.
Perhaps there is something to that whole full moon stuff after all. I mean, if I can stop hating my ex-husband and move onto laughing about the insanity of seeing a dead baby donkey on the side of the road, then maybe the tides are changing for me. I just need my mom to remind me when the next new moon is so I can prepare myself for what I may see next.