I stopped on the way home to move a turtle from the road. I had been instructed to do so by the ever wise Drew Mellon from Carolina Box Turtles. He said should I ever encounter a turtle trying to cross the road, I was to turn about and, if safety permitted, pick the poor thing up and place in on the opposite side, preferably in the direction it was pointed. Easy enough.
First I had to turn around, which was simple considering there was a driveway just ahead of the turtle. I turned about, then at about seven thirty in the morning pulled into the quiet little driveway of a quiet little house in the quiet little neighborhood. Just across from the houses sat a vast series of abandoned warehouses. Behemoth shells of buildings left over from the great factory days of yore, when the South was once King of Textiles and jobs were as plentiful as the cotton growing in the fields. These warehouses were wide cavernous spaces that reverberated with delicious echoing richness.
That last bit is important to remember.
Pleased to see the turtle unharmed and still trucking across the road, I left my van running and door open and hopped out. I scurried, much like a turtle myself, into the road, but not without remembering my childhood lessons of left-right-and left again.After my customary glances, I dashed into the road, lifted the little beast from the yellow lines and carried him to the relative safety of the grass on the opposite side. My deed done, I proudly strutted back to the van, only to be greeted by a flurry of foul language and death threats the likes of which would make a sailor blush.
You see, in my rush to get the little lad out of the road, I had left my stereo playing. Which was in turn attached to my phone. Which was at that very moment running the Audible app. The book I was listening to?
As narrated by Chris Barnes.
So, there I was, making my way back to my van, paying as much attention as I could considering what I was doing, when Chris in his ever dulcet tones reached a point in the narrative where a number of characters start arguing about the spiraling madness about them. Would they live? Would they die? They cried and hollered and pleaded. And they employed the word fuck. A lot.
Perhaps not. Perhaps he only said it once or twice. Perhaps I am remembering it all wrong. All I know is that I couldn’t get my fat rump back across that street fast enough once I heard a gigantic, Scottish FUCK echo throughout that quiet little neighborhood and reverberate through those vast, empty, abandoned warehouses across the street. A million little fucks rained down on me as I buckled in and peeled out of that driveway.
Two thoughts crossed my mind as I drove away:
I hope that didn’t wake anyone up.
I think that fucking turtle smiled at me when I put him in the fucking grass.