Story #1:

When you're driving at night down the backroads of some town and you encounter deer crossing the road. So you stop. And they stop too. And they look at you and just stand there in a stony-like fashion. Honking the horn doesn't do anything (sometimes it'll startle the baby deer). The only thing that will start the deer moving again is shutting off your lights--which is really bad at night because other drivers aren't going to see you stopped in the middle of the road with no lights on.

Anyhow, to make a long story short, the situation sucks. I have yet to discover a better solution.

Story #2: Isomorphically similar

You've brought this wonderful woman home--maybe you've been dating for a week or two or something. You're really enjoying her company, the sweetness of her breath is becoming intoxicating (assuming you aren't inebriated already). The candle light shimmers off the locks of her hair. And she bends towards you filling your vision until you have to close your eyes. Lips and kisses and flesh merge and clothes begin to peel. And then she lays back and ...

What the fuck? She turns to stone with this weird look on her face and stops moving just like a deer in headlights.

Awkward is too nice and simple a word to describe what's going on. I'm trying to think, "Should I fuck her and get it over with so she doesn't feel bad? Should I put my clothes on and immediately enter myself into a complex conversation about sex and how it's a dance and involves TWO people--not one person and a statue?--a conversation I'm not very qualified to carry without causing a catastrophic incident. Shit..."

But I don't get it. There's enough pornography in the world that everyone should have some semblance of how to engage in a dirty dance--it's not lie down stony-faced like a deer in headlights until it's over. I have no clue how you tell someone, "That's the worst sex ever--you have to participate a bit more next time." I've been slapped around enough to know that's a bad bad thing to say.

It's not so bad when you have time to stop. The carnage is always worst during mating season - the deer are too preoccupied to know, or care that there are huge metal things rolling along at fifty miles per hour and spelling doom and destruction for their uneventful, herbivorous lives.

Deer evolved in a world where the greatest thing to fear was a pack of wolves. The wolves, for the most part, are history, leaving the deer free to multiply and overpopulate and dash across country roads. Their instincts just don't prepare them to deal with an oncoming automobile. They can't decide what to do, and their brains aren't equipped with the tools for an override, so they freeze on the pavement, unblinkingly staring down death in the form of a Ford Econoline rolling along at fifty miles an hour with its high beams glaring ahead.

A big deer being hit head-on by a small car at high speeds is usually a death sentence for all parties involved. Larger automobiles provide better protection for their passengers, though not the deer. Often it's only an indirect collision, damaging the vehicle and leaving another carcass for the roadkill crews to pick up in the morning. But the deer don't always die outright - they can lay there for hours, twitching in mortal agony. That alone is reason enough to carry a rifle in your trunk if you live in a wooded area.

I'm not sure what it says about our society when the first time a suburban kid sees an animal larger than a goldfish being killed by human hands occurs at the side of a rural highway, a farmer putting a mortally wounded doe out of its misery under a full moon. To let it just lay there and die would have been unjustifiably cruel, I suppose, but at age eight it still gave me nightmares for a week.

I was finally feeling a little better. Driving down the 121, listening to Leonard Cohen when a deer jumped in front of my car. I pushed down on the brakes as hard as I could and my vehicle skidded and slid to a stop inches from the ignorant creature’s body. It blinked with my high beams blasting its face with a double shot of halogen while I caught my breath. Hitting a deer is messy for everyone, especially the deer and I was glad I had avoided it. It’s also murder on your car.

I’m glad my car was safe and I’m glad I didn’t hurt the deer.

I changed my mind. I still want to hurt the deer.

So I opened my car door and stepped out into the windy, mountain air. It was still warm and the sky was gigantic. I always take for granted how big it is, here. I swear it’s not this big in the city. I made a mental note to look at it more often.

But first…

The deer must have heard the car door close because it took to its hooves and ran past me into the field. Although, I wasn’t totally done with my mental note, I gave chase, pounding the dry grass with my boots. I could see the deer in the dim light and was miraculously gaining. The acid I had eaten earlier must be giving me the extra boost; I’d heard of stuff like this happening.

The distance between me and the velvet hide of this graceful beast was lessening and I could smell its musky breath. The noise from the hooves was hollow and the rhythm produced was a cadence to my double time march. I could see the white tail, only a few feet away so I lunged. My hands felt soft, short fur and I wrapped them around the narrow frame of this galloping beast. While we were tumbling to the ground, I caught a glimpse of that amazing sky and made a quick mental note to finish the mental note I had started earlier.

My left shoulder was crushed under the weight of the deer and its legs bucked at my chest in a futile attempt to escape. The LSD had given me strength beyond my own limits because, not only did I hang on, I was able to claw my way into a controlling position on top of the struggling deer. With one hand around its neck and the other pinning its front legs I sank my teeth into its shoulder. I had seen hunter’s targets before and they always had the bullseye on the shoulder; I figured that this must be its weak point.

Warm blood filled my mouth with a bitter saltiness but the rage of battle had clouded my senses. I struck again with a savage bite to the shoulder and wrenched my head from side to side. The chords in my neck were steel. My jaw was iron. I released my grip on the front legs and used my hand to claw into the soft flesh of the deer’s throat. With my other hand I punched again and again into the side of the deer’s body, feeling the dull thudding soften as ribs collapsed under my super strength. Rearing my head to that perfect sky, I howled at the stars and finished my mental note.

Click. Bright light.

“What the hell are you doin’, boy?”

It was a highway patrolman. I wondered, for a second, how much trouble you could get in for killing a deer without tags if you didn’t use a rifle.

I looked down at my victim to find nothing but prairie dust; my one hand full of grass and the other filthy with cow manure. I spit dirt and rocks out of my mouth and into a fresh, shallow hole. Staring at the empty ground in front of me, I noticed that I was kneeling in fresh cow patties and there was no deer in sight. My teeth hurt from digging into the ground, hard from the lack of rain and my fingernails were broken with dried grass and grit underneath them. The lawdog’s flashlight had cleared my head and I realized I was alone, filthy and busted in a field off the 121. I looked to my right and, behind the lawman, my headlights shone onto empty freeway; my dome light still on.

I could still hear Leonard Cohen from my open window.

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