I was headed back out to the island this morning and I had to stop at the farmer’s market on the way in to drop off an invoice for some work I’d done for him and pick up some tomatoes.
So I’m waitin’ to turn left and looking down the road I see something big moving across from right to left.
It’s a turtle, big as a pizza.
I grinned watchin’ him.-head up, yearning and proud, he’s trudging full speed turtle speed across the road. He’s safe crossing my lane ’cause I’ve got traffic backed up behind me while I’m waitin’ to turn into the market and it looked pretty good from the other direction as well.
So I watched him trudge, determined and wanting and just tryin’ to get to the other side of the road.
He was a little more than half way across the oncoming lane when a little station wagon came around the bend in the road.
But it wasn’t going that fast and Mr. Turtle was workin’ and movin’, and I was sure the driver would see him and slow down a little so’s he could finish his journey across the road to life on the other side.
A car passed and I turned into the crush and run parking lot of the market, watching as the turtle, head held high, thick legs churning, made it three-quarters of the way across the road.
I was sure he was home safe.
I stopped and parked and looked over just as the station wagon, piloted by a little old lady, ran right over Mr. Turtle smashing him into bloody shards of shell and turtle parts exploding down the side of her car.
It was like a kick in the gut.
What was her problem?
Was she maybe turning her iPhone back and forth trying to remember how to bring up the keypad so she could text someone? Was she maybe looking at pictures of her grandkids?
Was she drunk?
Was she maybe just a mean old shitty little woman pissed off and lonely ’cause her husband died and left her with too many years on the bitter side of life?
Whatever the reason, I honestly, physically, stopped myself from diesel duelly burning rubber after her, chasing her down and yanking her from her car and punching her in the face until my hand got tired ’cause I remembered I’d probably go to prison forever if I did that and never see Cutter and Tug and Miss Carol again.