Happy cats make for happy homes

adolescence Alabama beliefs blogging calm change Chicago crisis crushes dreams family fear flint hills food friends happiness health being a hippie holiday home internship kids loss love magic memories money music parties perfection plants projects relationships relaxation reminiscing ritual school social work issues spirits sports stress style the South violence weather weather worries writing



Go now. Go.

There’s something about Sunday night
that really makes you want to kill yourself
Subscribe to this blog
for e-mail updates

Friday, February 11, 2005


This week, I had to go rescue someone whose car had broken down in the next town over. I didn't want to go, because it meant missing a baby shower for a friend I hadn't seen in a while, but there was no one else around to do it, and I figured, it's only about 8 miles away. How long could that take? I skipped my lunch hour and went with another counselor.

It was a grey day, raining intermittently. In the beginning, it was sort of fun, because I've not seen much Alabama countryside (I stick to the city). And the country is really pretty down here. Hauntingly beautiful on a dark day when it's been raining all week. Spanish moss hung from the trees, ghostlike in its winter grey-green. We were near a river, but there was also standing water making swamps in just about every field we passed.

But it wasn't until we realized we had no idea where this woman was that I started to regret the trip; and haunting no longer meant really damn pretty. It meant--haunting. We drove down one lonely highway for a while until my companion said, "I don't have a good feeling about this." In all likelihood, that probably meant "Jesus is telling me this is not the road we're looking for," but I have darker sensibilities, and I started to get a creepy feeling in my stomach. I pulled off onto a dead end to turn around. The road was crumbling blacktop, and it was hard to get traction once we got off the shoulder. I slammed on the brakes that put us into a tailspin when I realized, in front of us, rain-soaked and partially gutted, left for dead (they were), were two deer crumpled in the mud.

Where I'm from, deer are hunted for their meat and their horns. Not left to be scavenged by wild animals on the side of the road. Then it started to rain in earnest, and I got scared. Perhaps a slightly ridiculous feeling, because I was enclosed in a powerful van with another person, an impenetrable barrier to whatever I was scared of. Maybe? I felt (imagined?) a disquiet, unwelcoming presence in the country there. The South frightens me in many ways, but the most indescribable way is how I feel in the country here. I feel as though the wilderness could tear me to pieces without anything ever laying a hand on me. Like the desolation is a real person gone mad from loneliness.

My head felt shattered: a throbbing signal kept blinking in my right temple, sending pain waves throughout my skull. Air pressure headaches, I believe. Their power to cripple does little to dissuade me that this country is out to get me.


Blogger Megan said...

That siounds so frightening. You described it perfectly.

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charity here.

I've always been fascinated by the South. I've never been there but your post furthers my fascination. In so much I've read (fiction and non-fiction) the South in general is portrayed as having an air of mysteriousness to it. Something ancient and evil. Why is that? Is it because its history with slavery? Hmm, I want to know more...

10:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger.
Get awesome blog templates like this one from BlogSkins.com