Faces the End

It was only afterward that I realized the gravity of my sin. In the moment, there was panic, a rush to my victim, a call to my mother, who loves all creatures great and small. A silent vigil as I watched him, still breathing, sitting in shock in the dandelion-strewn impossibly vividly green, half of which I’d already mowed. The air was thick with upper midwestern humidity and it was midday; in short, it was hot. Sweat had already darkened my armpits, upper chest and brow — it should come as no surprise that I’d already taken off my glasses, rendering me just short of legally blind; give me a few more years, and it’ll be faît accompli.

But this account is not dedicated to the crows, squirrels and assorted wildlife adapted as best they can to an urban environment. No, I write this to the rabbit whose face I had just, mowing, listening to sonic youth on my phone, sliced in half. His nose gone, the wound flowing, assured that his life would soon be over, he (or she — I can’t differentiate between rabbit sexes on surface examination) was stoic in a manner I could not then understand. Only when I stood at Yates’ deathbed did I understand such perseverance in the face of impossible odds. Seneca may have understood.

The renowned poet Hewson once wrote that “Every life involves the committing of a crime.” I do not know if that is true, but I see her point: life is fragile and tenuous, and one must that which is required in order to maintain it. I committed no crime, though it feels as if I did. The rabbit did me a favor by dying, sitting still, breathing rapidly until it slowed and it and I knew his time has reached its end. Yet it was no favor to me; I had no means of ending his suffering, and if I had, I don’t know that I could kill it. Looking in his eyes, I saw the eyes of Yates — an awareness of an end, a regret about things undone and a fear, chilling to behold, that the end could be many things, and all unknown.

~ by Benji on May 12, 2018.

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