Sunday, September 17, 2006

It's not an epiphany, it's a deer.

On our 6am strolls/yanking Amy through the Los Feliz streets, Basil, Ginger Puppy, and I occasionally see a coyote. It’s not as big of a deal as that sentence makes it sound. For the most part, these coyotes aren’t slinky, or wily, or even Wile E. They look remarkably like kicked dogs, with their tails dragging behind them as they quickly pad towards the nearest brush for cover.

When we used to walk up to Griffith Park, we’d see our fair share of rabbits, too. Again, nothing too special, half the time you don’t see them because they’re the exact color of canyon dust.

But Griffith Park appears to be covered in canyon straw, brambles, burs, and assorted sticky stuff these days. It gets in the dogs’ fur, and we have to stop every three seconds so I can defrag them, so I’ve altered our route slightly to where we’re walking to the Greek Theater and back. It’s a low key walk most of the time, despite the occasional dog or two or three that cross our paths.

But the last time we were out, something pretty spectacular happened.

Basil and Ginger Puppy were getting on my last nerve as usual, as I was attempting to negotiate the delicate dance of walking up a street with another dog and owner walking directly across the street from us. To Ginger Puppy, this means taking three steps in front, and then a side lunge at the dog across the street. Step step step LUNGE. Step step step LUNGE. C’mon! Lemme at ‘em! Lemme at ‘em! I’m two and a half and I’ll tear his throat out!

So we walk further than the dog across the street, plenty of time to give that owner a chance to turn around and walk back, far far out of eyesight. We reach the Greek, note that She Wants Revenge is playing in a month, and turn around.

We’re nearing the park area near the front gate, and all of the sudden, this deer springs out, seemingly out of nowhere, practically on top of us.

Deer may not be the right word for it. A buck? An elk? A GIANT ASS DEER/BUCK/ELK THING WITH ENORMOUS ANTLERS leaps out of the bushes, catching some major air, veers away from us, gallops across the road, hoofs clomping on the pavement, and again majestically leaps into the air, lands on top of a car, and dashes away into the underbrush, out of sight. (that's not the actual deeron the left, it's representative of what the deer looked liked. I didn't have my camera with me, I had two dogs on leashes instead.)

This sight is immediately followed by a Yappy Dog NOT ON A LEASH (which is highly against park regulations) tearing after it. Basil and Ginger Puppy, already woofing their heads off at the sight of a notadognotacoyoteIdon’tknowwhatitwasbutithadfourpawsandfursothatmeansweBARKATIT, reorient their fury at Yappy Dog, who immediately turns tail and zooms back to his owner.

The whole thing took less than ten seconds.

And I stand there, thinking, it must MEAN something. If this was a movie, I’d be asking that deer for directions to the Narnia lamppost. Or I’d be in the midst of an existential funk, and seeing the deer somehow reminds me that we’re all connected in the circle of life, and then Simba the Lion shows up, right before Robert De Niro shows up with his gun about to shoot him.

But some things you can’t force meaning onto. Some things I think you’re supposed to see and take note of and go on your merry way. Just because it looks like an epiphany doesn’t mean it is one. Because the closest thing I could come up with was There’s your life dashing by. There’s Mr. Bright Shining Opportunity, bouncing away from you, trampling the backside of a Toyota, and off before you could seize it. And that’s not the kind of epiphany that I need right now.

So I commemorate this Not An Epiphany Sighting here for all of you.

Oh, earlier that week, we also saw a garbageman doing push-ups by the side of his garbage truck before he climbed back in his truck and rumbled away. But I don’t think that means anything either.


Carse said...

That might be one of the best true stories I've heard in awhile. I bet it was Bambi's great grandson or something.

Course I'd think he'd be hanging out on the Disney lot.

J said...

Now, a deer doing push-ups near a garbage truck...that would be an epiphany-act-of-God-the-end-is-near-and-I'm-not-wearing-clean-underwear moment.

And one to savor at that.