Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bad Portents

On the way to work yesterday just before noon, I saw a fallen baby deer on the side of the road. A few vultures were nipping at it's dead carcass. I felt it was a bad omen of doom, but I had had such a good morning at home. Yet, sure enough the day was pretty gloomy at work. Awful things happened

In fact the last week or so has had a number of events that would make one take pause. I had to summon the police to one incident in particular where I was physically threatened This is a first at my job here, but not an infrequent occurrence where I used to work in Montgomery. The policemen were awesome but in the shuffle I was asked to identify someone they had tracked down. I misidentified the guy! He exclaimed "I was the one with the cell phone."  I looked carefully at him and indeed, he was not the perpetrator at all but the guy who was on a cellphone 1 minute before the actual problem occurred. Yes, he was with the people who caused the problem, yes he had broken the rules with the cellphone, but he decidedly was not the person who had physically threatened me. I apologized saying, "Sir, I am so sorry I misidentified you. I happened to speak to you just before the problem. Please forgive me." I said this loudly so the police would have no recourse against this guy. He seemed to be very relieved and forgiving.

I remembered a time when I worked in a library in a shopping center. All kinds of crime went down in that neighborhood. Once we saw guys running past throwing packages of meat in every direction. Following them were security officers running to try to catch the shoplifters. In another case, the police had rounded up two young black gentlemen who they thought had snatched a purse. The little old lady, who happened to be white, made her way slowly to the police car. As I watched, she said, "I don't know. I just can't be sure." The sheer terror in the eyes of the two young men will haunt me forever. That is why my misidentification was so earth shattering to me.

Equally earth shattering was a series of work emails that caused much consternation when added to all the events of late.

Then, this morning, there were at least 30 or more vultures in that same spot on the side of the road (a road my wife and I call "the wilderness highway" as it cuts through a section of area reserved for a buffer on the local Trent Jones Golf Trail course.) I couldn't even see any part of the deer just masses of vultures crawling over each other.

Yet, I got to work and all the gloomy problems of yesterday had been resolved. Then my boss told me a story about how the vultures clean up diseases that would happen without them. Thank the heavens for those vultures, I knew that damned deer was a bad portent! :)