I was woken up earlier than usual that morning. The sound of full bellied laughter bounced off the walls. I could tell by voices that it wasn’t just my parents who were home. From my bed I could look out and see through the crack in my door the end table lamp on and some movement. I could tell my mother was coming toward my room, her laugh is a dead giveaway. She slowly crept into my room, she took on the shade of blue being given off from the early dawn hue in the sky. Whispering my name, she tells me “look at what happened to me” as she lifted her arm to show me that she had a soft cast on it. I asked her what had happened? In an instant she began telling me of her usually boring motorcycle ride home from working a night shift. Except on this night, as mom was traveling on a rural road outside of Fresno, headed home from her graveyard shift, she happened to encounter two farm dogs running across the road. Mom said she was about half way home when she saw the first dog appear from the dark into her headlight. Swerving to miss the pooch she cut the bike abruptly and squarely into the path of a trailing dog that was not so lucky. The little Honda 250 tore through the animal killing it instantly while mom laid the bike down and came to a skidding halt after a ride on her side in which from mom’s account, she could see the sparks coming from her helmet as it was sliding across the road. A leather jacket and a Shoei helmet kept her injuries to a moderate level. The worst of which was a fractured wrist, some bruises and scrapes were also present but superficial. But many times in life isn’t that the way? We as humans prepare ourselves as best we can to minimize the trauma that we can see and account for, or if not that then at least we can accept something in order to feel in control and important. I began to think of myself as a person without the ability to sympathize with others in times of distress, and also the philosophy of not the first subject getting the best of you but rather the second one….the one which you do not see that really wrecks the rest of your day or longer for that matter.
The first dog made his present felt front and center? However. the second dog which acted on his or her own judgement has to be taken in to account. Who knows, I’m sure the dog was just as surprised as mom was at that point of time. But his/her death is contradictory to this idea….because if it’s the second that does you in and mom was the first motorcycle rider, that dog saw that night…then the hypothesis does not work…unless someone is out there riding the back roads of the rural central valley searching for mischief and opportunity.