Many moons ago I was walking in the wee hours of the night from an ear crushing (I have always worn ear plugs!) rock n roll show up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I was with my friend Liz and we were a bit tipsy, discussing music and art. I think David Lynch was somewhere in the discussion as well as Miami Vice (because you know, I love that show)
While we were strolling off the midnight alcohol, the half moon lit the still streets of downtown. There was a silent apocalyptic crispness in the air as there wasn’t a soul around until…
We turned a corner and out of the silence a piercing, sharp hiss from the depths of hell singed our ears, stopping us immediately in our footsteps. In frozen mid-stride my counterpart and I cocked our heads to the direction of this soul-melting screech. Our eyes gazed upon a stunning creature of lore. Down a dimly lit vacant alley an elusive child of the night stood on all fours, heavy toothed muzzle gaping open, ready to chomp. However, the creature of darkness seemed to be a movie still. Not an eyeball, claw, single hair nor whisker remotely nudged. It was as if I was holding a sculpture had been beamed from another dimension. A single trashcan lay on its side nearby with a disembodied pile of the previous day’s entrails.
The hiss had long subsided, echoing to the heavens. Yet the mouth stood open like a gate to hell. My friend and I both slowly stepped out of frame as the alleyway fell into our past. The possum held it’s frozen position of “fight or flight” until we were in its past.
We of course laughed and smile in pure awe of this wonderful and exciting encounter. The rest of the way home until I passed out on my friend’s couch I could only think of how lucky I was to have experienced this interaction with North America’s only marsupial. The Virginia Opossum.
Thank you friend, for I hope where ever you are you are high-diving into the universe’s largest and richest, dumpster. I love you just the way you are.