Lemme tell you something…


ECMy brother and I were driving back from Chicago via Kentucky. We were taking the backroads because we’re road tripping fools.

Early in the morning, the dawn sun breaking, we’re following the curve of the road through the tall trees of some swampy, marshy area, when we see a turtle on the road right in front of us. Going too fast to stop, I swerved around the turtle, pulled off up ahead, and turned on my blinkers.

Sean: “What are you doing?”
Me: “I gotta get that turtle off the road before somebody hits it.”
Sean: “Oh! Cool, bro.”

I walked the 40 or so yards back up the road, following the curve through the trees. When I’m about 20 yards from the turtle, still making its way, I hear an approaching semi-truck. Oh shit!
I ran toward the turtle!
The semi is coming around the bend!
I’m running as fast as I can!
There’s the damn truck! He sees me! He’s honking at this idiot running down the middle of the road at 5 in the morning; middle of a fucking swamp; middle of NOWHERE; Straight At Him!
There’s no time to stop and pick up the turtle!
The truck is hitting its airbrakes! Honking!
I have no choice!
I run right up and KICK that turtle the rest of the way across the road!
I throw myself at the guardrail!
The truck zooms past me!
I’m Laughing because I’m Alive!
I look to make sure the turtle is okay.

He’s all closed up. I jump over the rail and into the mud. I go to pick him up. He hisses at me. Yeah, he’s okay.

I walk back to my car, still laughing.

I get inside.

Sean: “WHAT in the living HELL?!?”
Me: “I know, right?”
Sean: “I’m glad I saw that truck, or else I would’ve LOST it!”
Me: “Huh?”

Now, here is where life is a matter of perception. The difference between the reasons you do what you do, and how other people perceive them.

Sean: “I saw you walking back for that turtle, and I felt proud of my bro. There you were, taking the time to see to that small creature’s safety. Then you start running toward it and I didn’t know what was happening. Then you hauled back and kicked it and my first thought was ‘Holy shit, NO!’
Then you threw yourself at the guardrail like you were gonna finish that poor turtle off, and that’s when the truck zoomed around the curve and past you, nearly pasting your ass.”
Me: “Yeah, it was close.”
Sean: “Why’d you jump over the rail after the truck had passed? It was too late to save yourself.”
Me: “I was just checking on the turtle to make sure I didn’t hurt it.”
Sean: “Oh.”
Me: “Yep.”

We drove for a bit, then Sean laughed.

Again: Perception.

Sean: “That poor god damn truck driver had no IDEA what the hell was going on!”
Me: “Heh! Yeah! At the next truck-stop, he’ll have a story to tell about those crazy Kentucky boys who go running through the swamps at the crack of dawn, KICKING turtles off the road!”

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