I’ve watched bats and birds fly through the air in great numbers and never have I seen a fraction of them fall from the sky, locked in mortal battle, dying for their bird length or bat length of territory. In fact, I’ve never even heard of this happening. Even more incredible is some species of birds. Like starlings and blackbirds, seem to fly in complex formation, moving, changing directions, incidentally creating seemingly impossible patterns, and without conflict within the flock. Geese manage to travel the length of a continent without leaving any dead behind, victims of those who were honked at, and retaliated with mortal force. You see where I’m going, don’t you, no pun intended?
I watched as a car pulled out of a parking lot, into traffic, and the driver didn’t look once. I was already braking, already slowing down, because I expect the worst from drivers. I knew a woman who charged at people like this with her car. She also walked with a permanent limp because of a wreck she was in. Anywhere other than behind the wheel she was sweet, and possibly even innocent. Once a driver she became a Demon. I briefly wondered if the car that had just pulled out in front of me was driven by this woman.
Then the car stopped.
I was slowing down but I wasn’t prepared for this level of stupidity. This is a four lane highway. This is one of the busiest roads in Valdosta. And this person has just locked it down and stopped in the middle of the road. Seeing the stupid, traffic goes around me, and I have to stop, and the car behind me has to stop, and the car behind me lights me up with blue lights. Damn, a deputy.
Maybe this guy is having car troubles so I get out to see if I can help and as I get out the driver of other car,the Anti-Starling, gets out and he’s clearly pissed.
“Get off my damn ass!” he screams and I realize that he’s mad because I was so close to him. He also ignores the deputy who yells, “Get back in your vehicle!”
The Open Carry Proponents would have us believe that two more handguns would make this confrontation a delightful and peaceful interlude to the day’s driving, but I’m personally very happy the Anti-Starling isn’t packing. But I do realize I’m between one man carrying a loaded pistol and another man who, clearly, cannot drive. Get back in my vehicle is something I’m good with and I realize that I am marginally less safe in an aluminum and glass container that is boxed in. The deputy is advancing with one hand on his pistol and the other hand in front of him pointing, get back in your car, get back in your car, hey, dammit, don’t you start walking towards me.
There’s a cop, city cop, that’s walked up on this, and she taps on my window and looks at me. I have both hands on the steering wheel and I’m hoping she’s going to get me the hell out of here but she has no idea what’s going on. She asks for my license and insurance card but the Anti-Starling has doubled down and is pointing at me as the deputy is trying to keep him back. More cops show up. The passenger in the Anti-Starling get out of the car as a deputy motions for him. He looks freaked out. He looks back at the number of armed people who have joined this scene and he realizes, maybe late, that something very terrible can come from this.
A deputy has taken up position behind AS and holy mother of god he’s drawn his gun. The city cop isn’t looking at what I’ve taken out of my wallet and she’s focused on the scene in front of her. She takes a step away from my truck and tells me, “Don’t move.”
The first deputy tells AS to turn around and put his hands on the car and this is the first step that accelerates the scene to a level from which we aren’t all going to drive away after a few shorts words about driving safely. The passenger screams, “Kelly! Goddammit they’re going to kill you.” And AS, who is now Kelly, looks around as if he’s just been stricken with the gift of sight if not intelligence. He realizes that ten feet away is a cop who has drawn a weapon and now he sees this as one of those incidents where someone gets shot, dead, on the street. I slip my cell phone into my hand and turn the camera onto video.
Kelly puts his hands on the top of his car and his friend is talking to him, be cool man, just be cool, it’s okay, it’s okay, be cool, Kelly, it’s okay. The deputy searches Kelly but doesn’t put cuffs on him. Damn, man, what the actual fuck? I mean really. Why did you push this thing like this?
The city cops now looks at my stuff and asks me what in the hell just happened here? She frowns at my phone.
Did that deputy have to draw his gun? I have to ask, because I’m behind the guy he was going to shoot. I mean, there’s cars all over the damn place, is the gun something that has to come out here?
“Left hand, taser” she replies without emotion.
The first deputy comes back and tells the city cop what happened and they’re writing Kelly a couple of tickets. They’re also searching his car and now he seems to understand something has happened. I ask the deputy, really, what the hell? He shakes his head.
I look up and see geese flying overhead, honking, making noise, but heading in the same direction, Geese are evil, the city cops tells me and she grins at me.
The dogs are barking at something in the moonlight. I sit up and Kelly is gone, the cop is gone, and somewhere I hear the distant call of geese in the night. The sound fades away and Tyger Linn jumps up on the bed, and wants to be allowed out, to hunt in the darkness.