The following is an excerpt from the beginning of chapter 5 in my book Saturation A Memoir. Previous chapters can be found here in my blog. My memoir can be found on Amazon: Saturation: A Memoir: Place, Jennifer: 9781461018124: Amazon.com: Books
I flew to Canada the same day I put my youngest son on a plane for Philadelphia. My new husband, Dick, had been living in an extended stay motel in downtown Vancouver. Within a week of my arrival, I found a house to rent in a tiny waterfront town called Deep Cove just a short drive east of North Vancouver. Our new house was just a short ten minute walk to the Burrard Inlet waterfront, and it was hidden in a forest of majestic trees, thick flowering bushes, with peekaboo views of the water from our wrap around porch. It was absolutely stunning – all of it.
After Dick and I signed our new lease, we flew back to Colorado, packed our things and drove, with our dogs, the 1500 miles back up to Canada. It felt like an endless nightmare. Dick drove the moving truck while I drove my car. Drunk. The whole way. It took three days and nights, and like the energizer bunny – the trip seemed like it might never end.
Unfortunately, I did hit something. I ran over a bunny. But it wasn’t my fault. Seriously. Somewhere between Butte and Missoula, Montana, around 2:00 a.m., we encountered what appeared to be about 14 truckloads of spilled rabbits all over the highway. Living bunnies hopping every which way. I’d never seen anything like it – not even with frogs in a rainstorm. And I could not avoid them. No one could have. I saw a carpet of rabbits spread out on the road for as far as I could see.
I slowed down to maybe 10 MPH in an attempt to try to maneuver around them – to no avail. At about the same time, Dick was ahead of me in the moving van and he kept calling about every two minutes, yelling at me to speed up and forget about the rabbits. Like a fool, I listened to him, sped up, and promptly ran over a sweet little furry bunny. I pulled off to the side of the road and sobbed. I couldn’t stop. My remorse was crushing. Dick had to pull over and walk back to my car. He was eventually able to coax me to keep driving for another hour, but I’ll never forget the look on his face. For the one and only time during our short-lived marriage, he looked at me like I was crazy.
Knowing him – he was irritated with me that I cared at all about the rabbits. He was irritated that the rabbits were preventing us from driving the speed limit, and if the rabbits had fallen off a truck, Dick would be irritated with the driver for not making sure they were locked in properly. I, on the other hand, save bugs, so knowing I killed a tiny cuddly creature that is sometimes kept as a pet was one of the lower emotional chasms I’ve experienced while intoxicated.