'Prepare to be immersed in the heat and vibrancy of Florida's natural world, full of such sensual detail that to read it is to breathe it in.' -Jo Shapcott [review of Greyhound Night Service]


This is a photo taken by my sister when she was on holiday a couple of years ago. To me it somehow captures my last 24 hours. Last night, on the way home from a tea party, my friend was driving and we hit a deer. It was horrible, but not as horrible as it could've been given that we were ok, the deer jumped back up and ran into the forest, and though I know that it couldn't have survived, I'm somehow shocked by the whole thing still and think how lucky we were, and yet were not. We were driving very very slowly and we were on a road I HATE through the forest, a road I always try and avoid due to the reckless drivers and excessive pot holes, and as we came around a curve going quite slowly a huge doe was standing in the road.

In that slow-motion way that time has in these moments, I took in all of her--she was beautiful and so enormous with a white white underbelly and tail and she was so tall. And as my friend hit the brakes the doe turned and walked towards us, yes towards us, and that's when I shut my eyes. Thank god I wasn't driving cause I probably also would've shut my eyes. But I felt and heard simultaneously the thump of us hitting her and I heard my friend's breathing and opened my eyes again to see the deer gone. Us stopped-dead in the road, deer gone.

My friend said she sort of got knocked down then leapt up and ran back into the woods. We pulled off the road and I was frantically looking for my phone to call the wildlife rescue people, something I'm programmed on autopilot to do and I must say the last thing on my mind was any of us or the car or the road. I only wanted the deer to be okay, even though I know she couldn't have been.

Skip forward in time 24 hours to this evening. For the first time since early last year I got up the nerve to log on to the on-line dating site where I met my most recent Ex.

For some reason I felt the need to log on and see who was on line, even though I'm feeling especially not ready for any kind of relationship. And...part of me admits I kindof wanted to see if Ex had re-joined the dating pool. After a brief search under her previous details, I found nothing. Not a trace. I then attempted to log back into my old profile, even though the site had sent me numerous emails over the past year telling me my profile had been removed due to inactivity. As suspected, there was my old profile as I'd left it and a message came up telling me I had someone new viewing me. So I clicked!

Much to my surprise what came onto the screen was a very newly taken and slightly-frightening-in-its-close-up-ness photo of Ex. With her new username, details and new profile. AND AND (this is my point...wait for it...here it comes...) she'd been viewing me, or shall I say, my old defunct profile all week.

I suddenly felt as if I was being watched when I didn't know it. Which is irrational you may say because the profile she had been viewing for me was out of date anyway. But why, why, why was she viewing my old profile? I am now feeling very odd (hence the blog post) and as if someone has been stalking me without me knowing. Ok, I know that's a bit extreme but I did find something very scary about it all. And that some of what she says in her new updated profile directly references me, though no one would know this except me!

Somewhere there is an injured doe in the forest. She's been framed by headlights and hit, caught. And she's off again. Maybe hiding, maybe waiting to heal, maybe she won't. I guess I feel a bit like that deer. This sounds so strange to write, but it feels true. There is something so un-human about animals in the wild. So much closer to truth and the wildness of the world. So much closer to what I have been searching for but not not not finding in my love life--a bit of truth and a bit of the wild. I am sorry to combine these two odd themes in one post, but they have come together in me at some point during the day--the being watched and feeling caught by the very intense gaze of Ex staring at me close up in her new photo / catching a glimpse of that beautiful doe in the lights before she was gone. And what remains is this invisible thunk as she hit us / we hit her that feels like being hit with some truth. Maybe death. Probably death for her. For us, a lucky escape on a very dangerous road. Maybe a lucky escape from that relationship for me too. And now I feel like I want to go into hiding and finish waiting for old wounds to heal.