That sign you sometimes pass on the highway, with the painted silhouette of the deer? That’s me. I won’t look both ways. It’s true, I won’t. I’ll just walk right into the road, suddenly, while it’s dark. My friends will too, so be warned. Not that it matters—you’ll hit us anyway. We want to get hit.
I’m not stupid. I can hear a car coming from miles away, and I’ve been run down nine times since Christmas. Obviously, I try to avoid full-on collisions—I don’t want to die or anything. Just a good hit to the hindquarters, something that will throw me into the culvert. One time I got smacked in the face with a side-view mirror. God, that was good.
My cousin, Aaron? He likes to watch from the bushes while we get struck. That’s his thrill. Not me—I crave that rush you can only get when four-thousand pounds of metal knocks you into a spin; that wild screech of rubber on pavement; the sudden panic that this might be the one that finally cripples you for life. I dream about this every night.
The thing I really fantasize about is that one night a driver will stop and reverse slowly over my tail. And then maybe they get out, and slam one of my legs in the car door. Oh god. Maybe they tie me up like they’re going to mount me on the roof rack, but instead they just douse me in windshield washer fluid. Yes.
Because what else is there, for me and my friends? Do you know what we do all day? Picture one of those deer-hunting arcade games they have in sports bars, with the plastic guns: You wander around a boring forest, looking at trees or nothing, until you see a stag—and then you shoot it. Kind of entertaining, right? Now imagine that instead of shooting the deer, you just look at it for a second, nod, and then continue wandering around until you see another one. And then you nod again. That’s it—that’s my life! I just want to feel something, other than the slow digestion of the cud I chew. So we go out at night and look for release in a pair of headlights.
See this scar, on my back? A few months ago, I ran out in front of this pickup and the guy who came to check on me dropped a lit cigar. I knew I had to seize this golden opportunity and I wiggled my way over to it, salivating. The driver jumped back into his truck, probably thinking I was rabid or something, but I wiggled my way over and rolled onto the stogie. Jesus. It was like a blinding white light from heaven. Smoke rose in the retreating lights of the pickup, and the smell was like grilled venison. My cousin Aaron was in the bushes the whole time, watching, and chewing on his foreleg. People see these bald patches on our legs and think it’s because of ticks or something, but no. We do this to ourselves because we can.
You know what those signs along the highway should say? This Deer Won’t Mind If You Swerve Into Him.
Or: This Deer Would Be Delighted If You Were To Pull Over, Grab Him By The Antlers, And Bash His Head Into The Hood Of Your Car Until He Loses Consciousness.
Or, wait: This Deer Wants You To Run Over His Hind Legs So He Can’t Move Away, Watch Him Writhe There In The Middle Of The Road While You Drink A Fifth Of Scotch, And Then Proceed To Piss On Him, Right On His Face, While His Pervert Cousin Watches From The Bushes And Feverishly Bites Into His Own Leg, Thus Humiliating The Struck Deer Until He Finally Reaches The Carrot That Has Been Dangling In Front Of Him His Entire Adult Life, And He Experiences Pure, Unbridled Ecstasy.
But, whatever. The current signage is better than the usual, bland DEER CROSSING. And I understand if you’d rather obey the warning and drive with caution, because hitting us is a danger to you guys, too. You’ve got sports bars, malls, and water parks—things to really live for. Just promise me you won’t feel too bad if you do happen to run us down. You’ll notice, as the headlights of your vehicle bear down on me, that this deer won’t look both ways. This deer will look directly into your own eyes. This is not fear; this is not a plea to your humanity. I am looking into the eyes of my master. Dominate me. Humble me with your awesome power, driver. Oh yes.