I’m growing tired, and time stands still before me.
– Elton John, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
So. Story time.
I stop my car outside one of the convenience stores on my paper route. It’s about 5:00 a.m. and I’m barely stifling a stream of yawns. I keep forgetting that milky tea is as likely to put me to sleep as the caffeine in the tea is supposed to keep me awake.
For some reason, I catch sight of something dark shuffling along the paved parking lot away from the car. God help me, it’s a large, winged beetle, dragging its back legs behind it. And without a single thought, I’m talking to a crippled beetle just before sunrise.
It was a short conversation, one sided obviously. I told the beetle if it didn’t fly up onto my face – the stuff most of my insect phobias are made of – I would make a point not to run it over on my way out of the parking lot.
So it didn’t, and I didn’t. And then I told myself, it was good I didn’t harm or kill it, in case it was John Lennon or George Harrison come back to say give peace a chance. Something about entertaining angels, unawares. In that moment, I embraced a newfound Jainism.
And I finished my route, and collapsed on my sofa with moments to spare before I started teleworking at my “later in the day” job.
Irrational attempts at connecting with animals didn’t begin and end with me today, however. One of my sister-kindreds later shared a story with our group about trying to catch a “MANGY MANGY” squirrel with her bare hands in what she called a “BE MY FRIEND act of desperation” for physical contact. She conceded it was good that she didn’t. Rabies and all.
We’re an eccentric but loving bunch, what can I say?
And clearly very sleep-deprived.