I am becoming increasingly concerned about the turtles. Seriously. Every single time I drive down the highways, I see at least one little turtle standing by the fog line gearing up to cross the road. And with nearly the same frequency, I see little smushed turtles just inside the white line, obviously unsuccessful.
Sometimes I rescue them, carrying them across and trying not to think about how they’re going to want to come back and maybe no one else will be there to provide an asphalt ferry.
(Remind me to tell you about the time I ‘rescued’ a really big turtle on a divided highway. It’s funny. Involves a blind man and heavy traffic. Seriously, no one was harmed. Not even me.)
The other day this little turtle just stood there, head stretched out, looking totally determined. And completely crazy, a one pound creature not known for agility trying to dodge thousands of pounds of speeding steel and rubber.
I thought about the turtles and the theater of the absurd and how we’re all not really any less vulnerable or any less ridiculous the other night when I was changing my car’s battery in a rainstorm in a Bob Evans parking lot about 60 miles from where I wanted to be. (That was a really long sentence, sorry).
Mostly, it seems, I just close my eyes, stretch out my neck and dive into it, hoping for the best while the mortal dangers of financial ruin, disease, crime, broken hearts, and whatever else hurtle by. Sometimes we make it. Sometimes I make it. Other times, we miss the goal, and get flattened by some truck we couldn’t get around. Or never saw coming.
Sometimes people come along and help me get across. Thankfully, my mom and grandma were with me so we were able to go buy the battery after an hour of fruitless jumping. I have a boyfriend, too, who was willing to make the trek to where I was to help (I was fine, thank you).
I’m lucky. You’re probably lucky too.
I need to do a better job of watching out for human turtles, instead of getting mad at them. Like the other day, the welfare mom in front of me, pregnant and with a cart full of snot-nosed kids trying to figure out her food stamps while I just wanted to buy a gallon of milk or something. I was so irritated I’m probably going to have to confess it.
She was just a turtle, really. Trying to do something as ridiculous as get herself food for her kids in a world made more difficult by her choices and the choices of others. So many speeding cars.
Blogger’s note: I realized so many of my posts deal with critters. I’m not a total animal nut, but they make such great little object lessons. And my brain thinks only in metaphor. If only I could have applied that to algebra class…