my car passed over a lot of death tonight. i made sure the fallen animal, bless its heart, was between my tires so i wouldn’t desecrate its corpse. if i had enough time to maneuver (death comes up on you so quickly don’t you know), say on a long stretch of road, i did my best to avoid the corpse entirely. . . .

on old church road i saw a family of deer, most of them very small, hopping over a wall of plowed snow to get into the forest on the other side. i slowed down and stopped in the middle of the street. i hadn’t seen any other cars on the road except snowplows so i figured it was ok to do that. i watched them for a little while. i was listening to “golden hours.”

once they were safely hidden in the trees i took it slow and continued down that dark road to the place where i used to live. my old house was black and dead quiet. every time i have driven by it i have this magnetic urge to pull into the driveway and go inside and sit by the wood stove, and everyone will be there like before. but of course this is crazy so i keep driving. i kept driving tonight.

on the snowy turn nearby i was thinking about a day i had a long time ago. i have been alive for over ten thousand days but this was a good day and i remember it. there was a big snowstorm coming, similar to the one i just experienced a few days ago, and they were going to close down the schools early. it was probably 10 a.m. when they decided this.

my dad was a police officer back then. he was a sergeant. he was allowed to use his police car for pretty much anything he wanted.

i remember the day the snows came he was on duty but he came to my school to pick me up. if i had waited with everyone else for the buses to arrive i would have been trapped there for another two hours. he didn’t tell me he was coming. i was so happy to see him. no one else got to leave early. he was in uniform. we walked to the front office and he signed me out. we drove down the street to pick up my little sister from elementary school. he took us home. i was just old enough to look after my little sister so he left us at the house and said he’d check up on us throughout the day.

my little sister made hot chocolate and i brought my nintendo 64 into the living room. it was snowing very hard. it wasn’t even noon yet. we changed into warm clothes. we both sat crosslegged in the middle of the living room with blankets wrapped around us and drank hot chocolate. the wood stove was burning and our cats were running around the house. i remember looking out the window and watching the trees in our front yard fill with snow. it was so beautiful and nice. that’s about all that happened that day, but for some reason i have always remembered it and have remembered that nice feeling. even my sister has brought it up to me before. she mentioned it again to me a few weeks ago. she was much younger than me but she still felt the same way about it.

ten thousand days! and that’s one of the days i remember most.