Universal Translator

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Fox

I've been awake for more than 24 hours. Why isn't important, really . . . I was getting some things done and moving around and I just didn't realize it had gotten as late as it had until it was near five o'clock in the morning. But it's weird, with me at least . . . I am a creature of inertia and can keep going almost forever, until something comes along and snaps me out of my inertial state. Like realizing that it is near 5 o'clock. And then I suddenly feel very, very tired, realizing that the sun is about to rise.

So I drove the truck to Dunkin' Donuts (open 24 hrs, Yay!) and got a breakfast sandwich to take home with me. And then I went back to where I left my car and swapped out.

Pulling into the street, my headlights sweeping across the road, I saw a cat streak just on the outside of my lights and run into the tall grass where the roads intersect. Pulling up to the intersection myself I glanced over to where the cat had run and realized that it wasn't a cat at all -- it was a fox.

The fox had a bushy tail, and a lean body. It stood its ground and glowered at me as I looked at it through the glass of my passenger side window. I didn't have anywhere to go, and I was captured by the fox's stillness as it glared. I wondered what he was thinking, what he was doing on an early autumn's Saturday morning. I wondered if he might not be annoyed that he had to deal with me, when he had counted on nobody being around this early on Saturday to spot him.

After a moment, the fox lowered his head but did not otherwise move. Then he pulled his lips away and showed his teeth. It wasn't a smile.

I don't know why. He couldn't possibly have seen me inside the car. Probably he was just reacting to the car's prolonged stillness, never realizing that I was sitting inside and looking at him.

But I got the hint. I nodded a nod that the fox wouldn't see, or even know how to interpret, and let my car drift into the first lane of the next road. I left the fox behind to follow his own early morning foxy pursuits.

And that's it. There is nothing else to say, but I am very tired now and I've eaten my breakfast sandwich and I am about to tumble into a well-deserved sleep, my dogs snoring up around me. I don't know why the fox meant something to me, but he did.

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