being an agent of natural selection

On a quiet summer day, I drove to my doctor’s appointment – on time, not in a rush.

(I need to point that out. Some of you know why.)

The crow in the middle of my lane wrangled some bit of garbage – fine dining for him, perhaps.

I fully expected him to hop out of the way. They always do, right?

The road was narrow, with cars following me, parked on each side, and in the oncoming lane. It is important to me that you understand that I noticed all of this.

The crow was supposed to appear out one side of my car or the other, doing the skitter-hop they do, always at the last minute, as if playing chicken and showing off for the lady crows.


My heart raced. I checked the rear-view mirror.

Instead of the brazen crow hopping back to his lunch with certain annoyance, I saw a smushed black body, one frantic wing flapping in the air.

Oh, the heart-racing panic, the soul-sucking shame.

I was truly distressed.

Later, still shaken, I told Kristina about it. Her goal was to help me feel better. Her method was awesome.

Slowly, very clearly, so there would be no misunderstanding, she told me this:

You are an agent of nature.
You are aiding natural selection.
You are nature’s response to dipshit birds.

My grandfather didn’t care for crows. They made a racket while he napped and they got into Nana’s garden. He’d shoot one as soon as look at it.

I’m sure he’d have agreed with Kristina. Clearly, I’m still wrestling with it.

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