Look: I get it. We’ve all been where you are. Midway through your six hour journey to your Airbnb bungalow in the Adirondacks, eager to rewatch the same baking shows with a different view out the windows, you decide, rather than confront the gnawing fear that you no longer have anything to say to each other, to instead hash out the same ol’ shit: the way that she insists on trilling the “rr” in “Mediterranean,” for example, or, hey, the way he’ll bring up (whenever possible) how Part 8 of Twin Peaks: The Return is “the closest that TV has ever approached cinema.” And that’s when you’ll hit me. For you, I’ll be a bright smear across your windshield before it shatters, and the closest thing to a shot of adrenaline you’ll have ever since you decided to buy that swing.
For me, it’ll be Tuesday.
“Yeah, it’s cool, I’ll just lay here—lie here?” I’ll mutter, as you clamber out of your, I don’t know, 2012 Ford Fusion, with a Phish decal and bumper sticker that says “YOUR LOCAL IPA SUCKS,” and begin to observe me with a morbid scrutiny that’s all too familiar: like those scientists who needed to impose a true fate onto Schrodinger’s cat (whose name is Thom, thanks, and makes a mean Sangria). Indeed, as is consistent with the venerated tradition of chiaroscuro, you lowly bipeds seem content to hurl the rest of us into your headlights in order to further shroud your own inherent conflicts within obfuscating gouts of abject darkness, hm? (I went to Wesleyan.)
“Is it? I think it’s—,” she’ll start, and pick up a nearby branch and, like, actually begin to prod me, nevermind that I’m still just laying (lying) here, just trying to catch a breath, y’all, my knees still fucked from last week’s crash. “It’s a goner, babe,” he’ll reply, and take a tentative step back towards your car, the one you fought over for weeks because, he claimed, “there’s not enough room for my Fenders.” What proceeds from here is just a textbook act of psychological displacement, an argument whose symbolic parallels can be distilled as such:
“That deer’s dead” means “Our relationship’s dead.”
“That deer’s still alive” means “Want to go and try that new thing in bed I learned from Reddit and kick this can down the road a little longer because my parents have started to tell you to jokingly refer to them as the ‘in-laws’ and I feel like societal expectations have more or less calcified my future for me?”
Meanwhile, I’m still facedown on the asphalt, bloodied and mangled, thinking to myself: Oh, shit. Did I forget to DVR The Real Housewives?
And it’s not just me, I should say. Other animals have it just as bad. Remember Matilda, the Pomeranian, loves those “Watercolors and Wines” nights she has with her girlfriend every Thursday? Yeah: her author decided he needed to illustrate a character’s incipient sociopathy, so of course she’s had to deal with her owner’s son, Timmy, otherwise known as the new member of Future Serial Killers of America, sneaking down to her kennel at night and lighting match after match in front of her face, y’know, “just to feel something, anything, within this reckless husk of a world.” So I think we can safely say it’s not much of her fault that most of her watercolors these days have a bit of an unstable, burnt feel to them.
And David, the woodpecker? His morning routine’s been a bit abated ever since that balding man from a nearby home decided to express his mid-life crisis and existential dread over the pervasive cage of Idyllic Suburbia by shooting at my good pal David with his childhood BB gun. David’s had to go through four different therapists ever since that shit started. His most recent one, Dr. Owl (he’s an owl) is a bit of a meandering fuck. David will say stuff, like, “Please, doctor, help me, I don’t care if my pain is useful as a mechanism,” and Dr. Owl will reply, “Oh wow, huh, would you look at how flexible my neck is,” and David will say, “I no longer know if my selfhood is at all worthwhile on its own, or if I am merely significant as a means to churn out Relatable Content for disaffected millennials,” and Dr. Owl will stand up and exclaim, “Oh, SHIT! My neck rotates the other way, too?!”
Those are just a couple of examples, of course. I’d say more, but the couple just drove off, and I’ve got a 2 PM appointment in the middle of the street: a couple’s on their way to look at one of seven possible starter homes and I’ve got to be there to give them a fun anecdote for their realtor later. But it’s fine. Later I get to snuggle up with my boyfriend Ross and catch up on what happened with Luann last week.
Oh, you didn’t know I was gay? That’s your fault.
Literally every single deer on God’s Earth is gay. Like, all of us.
Don’t ask me how I know that. Ask yourself why you don’t.