Diary of a Dead Raccoon

I am a creature of habit.  I will inevitably write about many of those habits here so you may muse with me why it is that these habits are in place or maybe laugh at the scenes that occur due to said habits.  One of these habits is this – on payday I treat myself by driving to my train station that morning.  It is only a half mile walk, however, it is nice to occasionally just drive there.  This past Tuesday was payday…

I got up a little early because on the day I drive to the train station I dress a little nicer, maybe wear some heels because I am not walking to the station.  This Tuesday was no different.  I had cute boots with clunky heels, a moderately low cut shirt, nice jeans…yadda yadda… I finished getting ready and made my way to the house side door which exits from my kitchen.  As I walked to the car, out of the corner of my eye I saw it…roadkill.   With my purse still slung over  my shoulder I hesitantly walked the few feet to where the raccoon now lay.  Upon closer examination I could tell he had passed from this life and onto whatever afterlife might be had by raccoons.  I heaved a heavy sigh and walked back to the car to toss all my stuff in the back seat.  I had maybe twenty minutes until my train pulled out of the station and there was no way of navigating around the raccoon (and thereby leaving it to my detestable neighbors to dispose of).  I quickly grabbed a garbage bag from under my sink and ran to the back of the house where there was a shovel.

So, there I stood.  Looking cute with a garbage bag in one hand and a short shovel in the other trying to figure out how to tackle the issue at hand.  Leaning the shovel on the fence for a moment I began to think of how to approach the carcass.  I bent over, with bag in hand, trying to get it as close to the dead animal as possible, maybe scooting the bag under the body a little.  I kept skeeving out.  All the while truck drivers were passing, blowing their horns, thinking they were regular comedians or something.  Frustration mounted as a gust of wind picked up my strategically placed garbage bag and I ran after it like a maniac trying to capture it.

I found myself spreading out the garbage bag as much as possible, anchoring it in place with the heels of my feet.  I was now spread-eagle over the garbage bag holding the shovel in front of me trying to not be so skeeved as to not be able to get the job done.  Looking somewhat like I was rowing a gondola down a canal I began trying to maneuver the raccoon into the bag.  Finally I felt that the body was in the bag far enough that I could grab the edges of the bag and let gravity pull it the final few inches in.

As I bent over the bag, grabbing the sides, trying not to catapult the thing out of the bag, I paused…for that brief moment a wave of fear flooded my body.  What if it were really still alive?  I backed up from the bag… With the tip of my toe I nudged the body.  Upon seeing that it was stiff as a board I knew there was no worry.  So I quickly tossed the bag and its contents next to the tree on my sidewalk where the garbage man picks up our garbage.

In our town, the garbage man runs four out of five business days.  On the odd day recycling is picked up.  So the bag sat on Tuesday (a garbage day) and Wednesday (a garbage day).  On my commute home today (Thursday) I had decided that if the bag was still there I would combine it with my regular garbage to make what appeared to be a “normal” full bag in hopes of tricking the garbage man to pick it up.  Odd, I get home and the bag is gone.  Odder still is that today is recycling day.

My dead raccoon had been recycled?  What was that about?  Does that mean he will be processed, pressed out and then used to create a new raccoon?  Or is there a higher level of thinking and he has been recycled into the afterlife somewhat like reincarnation?

I breathe a little easier now knowing that he has passed from this life and off of my curb… poor thing, I hope he comes back as something that doesn’t have to forage near as much and maybe liked a little more….definitely not a politician…maybe the guy who drives the Mr Softee truck, everyone loves him.

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