megfuzzle (megfuzzle) wrote in berandom,

a deer memory

I still remember the morning after my best friend got her driver's license. It was foggy, unusually warm for a December morning. Never had a Toyota Carolla looked more wonderful. The beat up, slightly rust-eaten poo-brown metal suddenly took on a new sheen. You could imagine large wings extending out of the rear child-safety windows. (The kind that only roll down enough for you to uncomfortably sick your arm up and out, or for you to get wind directly in your eyes and no where else). You could hear the humm of excitement as she pulled up in my driveway for our first solo flight to high school. (Or maybe the humm was the timing belt that needed replacing). It didn't matter to us that in order to stop at a stop light, we had to shift into neutral and rev the engine the whole time lest it die. It didn't matter that the sound system was ancient and blown. We were on our own, in what I like to call our "rocketship of freedom" (ECHO, ECho, echo).

So as we drove out of town, jamming to Offspring's Americana, we enjoyed the freedom of a parentless car. We could speed if we wanted. We could pull over just because, and we could turn up the music as loud as we could stand.... which lasted about 3 seconds. But duration was not the point, the freedom to DO it was the goal. We cut through the foggy air on the road alongside a lake, laughing and talking about things that only high-school girls find interesting. Planning rear-view-mirror decorations, class schedules and the all important boy situation.

I still remember the moment that we both looked up and realized that our little rocketship of freedom was headed straight into the only kryptonite to our super-adventure. That's right. A large buck stopped dead in the road, staring at its oncoming doom. Of course, being the sensible girls we were, we both screamed. Loudly. And Ashley, being the trained and licensed driver did the only responsible action there was. Her skill at driving, her mastery of the road was quite evident as she executed the by-the-book "mixing-up-the-brake-and-gas" maneuver.

We were now hurtling even FASTER at the frightened deer. His end seemed at hand, his doom imminent, and our screaming rang inside the car even louder... a bizarre "song of mourning" for the soon-to-be road kill. We were gathering speed, I was sure our little car would take to flight and clear the obstacle that way. Suddenly my job as co-pilot and navigator extrodinaire became clear. It was up to the trusty side-kick to pull this baby out of the nose dive. I reached over (still keeping my part of the strange screaming duet)and pressed hard on the horn of the deer-death-mobile. A wimpy "meeeeeeeeeeep" must have issued from our hurtling rocket of doom, not to be heard above said screaming duet of mourning, for the buck woke suddenly from his stupor and dashed nimbly aside as we flashed by.

In that first game of "chicken", we came out victorious. We were winded, and had to pull to the side of the road to recover. Our only conversation centered around her excellent, but risky strategy of barelling head first into the situation. Her only reply was "oops", and eventually we ended up laughing about it. Loudly. In fact, anyone driving by would simply see two girls thrashing about in a little Toyota Corolla, laughing uncontrollably. No one could have guessed the fate that almost met our rocketship of freedom. So we continued our merry way to school, much slower, and with much checking-of-brakes. It wasn't our last adventure in the rocketship, but it was certainly one of our finest.
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