Wednesday, 18 May 2011

the possum

it was 04:48 and i was exhausted and reeling from a very special little morning argument when Muffin told me about him. seeing that we were in the middle of a tiff, i replied with sass, determined to show absolutely no interest in the half-dead possum that may or may not be laying a mere eighteen yards from me. SURELY the fact that i expressed no desire to look at/photograph/hold the dead thing that was laying just by our post boxes would show him that i was pissed off for realsies and it would prove i was more justified and steadfast in the argument and perhaps he would then apologize (yes, danie's before-five brain works in a really special way)

i laid in bed imagining the possum i had seen dead on the side of the road several months ago. it was a desperately cold morning and i was making a pilgrimage to the supermarket for foodstuffs for dinner. he was laying there, completely frozen, and i was compelled to sit with him for many reasons. i'd never seen a possum in real life, he was frozen (which meant he was PERFECT for taking home and taxidermying) and he looked like he was smiling. photos occurred and for the next six weeks i hated myself for not picking him up that first morning every single time we passed by him.

twenty agonizing minutes passed with me thinking about the first possum and i felt i had no choice but to leap up and attempt to catch a glimpse of him through my bedroom window. i could see nothing. i re-checked the text that confirmed the possum was indeed by our mailboxes. i glances out the window once more before advising Booger (my morningtime sleeping buddy) that i just had to go have a look... for research purposes (an excuse i use to explain away mostly everything).

i stepped out my front door and onto my porch, taking in the dawn's fresh, cold air and felt giddy almost exactly at the same moment i saw him laying there, curled into a tiny ball, directly in the middle of the driveway. 

i cautiously walked up to him, attempting desperately to scour my internal encyclopedia for whatever information i may have retained about possums. something told me that they're terribly aggressive and my caution instantly turned into terror as i slowed my advances toward him. i started explaining to him what i was doing, play-by-play, as if i could de-escalate any potential altercations with my words...

it was his eyes that distressed me. they looked so pained and sad. i was too scared to get too near to him, i watched from a short distance and took a photo. i watched to see how steady his breathing was, took one more photo and pranced back to the house. i sighed happily because of how warm it was in my living room after having been out in the brisk morning air. the guilt instantly consumed me and i grabbed a blanket and marched outside with itt.

as i walked up to him i rationalized with him again and he allowed me to pick him up with the big blanket without any hassle and i carried him to the porch, wrapped him up warm and went in to get him some water.

after i laid the bowl of water next to him i sat and talked with him. i felt very connected to him at that time, which might be why i felt it was so necessary to save him from the indignity of dying right there in the middle of the road where everybody could see. i felt like i had to make him feel like someone cared. i know animals don't rationalize things like that, but a small part of me likes the thought that the little guy would be grateful for being wrapped up and put in a sheltered area away from more harm. or maybe i did it because that's what i feel like i need right now...

i feel a little like i needed to do that for him because i understand... i felt like i knew his pain he was lonely, hurting and tired. i've been feeling a lot of similar things the last couple of weeks and i would relish a little TLC like that. someone to talk to me, hold me and make me feel safe and warm. so maybe i did it because i'm hoping karma will come back to me and offer me something in kind. maybe.



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