I have never committed vehicular homicide...until this past sunday.
I pulled into a parking spot at the apartment complex I was filming at in Novi. I was a little early, so I checked my facebook with my phone before getting out of the car.
Ten minutes later, I exit the vehicle only to see a pool of blood by my back tire. Behind that, a little turtle, no bigger than my hand.
"No no no!" I screamed.
I bent over and picked it up.
It screamed. I didn't know turtles could scream. But this one did. Its shell was cracked by its neck, and some organs were dangling out. I couldn't help him and I was devastated. I took him over to the grass and held his foot. I apologized profusely. I don't know why I had to park in that particular spot...there were spots everywhere. I chose that one! If I had parked elsewhere, I would have seen him and moved him to safety before this tragedy could occur.
I held his foot until I knew he was gone...I wanted to take his pain away. I wanted to save him...I could do nothing...I was helpless...and that is terrifying.
Then I had to go and film a comedy as if this turtle's life meant nothing.
I mean, for all I know, he could have grown up to be the Hitler of turtles and I saved that apartment complex pond from animal genocide the likes of which we never would have imagined...but I kinda doubt that.
Its hard to remain dead inside. But I have to in order to get through my shoot. I have to laugh. Then I have to drive home.
And now, everytime I get behind the wheel, I gasp as I remember that turtle and the way it screamed...it sounded like the Jurassic Park dinosaurs. Just very, very, tiny.
I can't bear having an innocent creature's death on my hands. But I didn't intend to kill him. Still, if I had hit a child, even without intending to hit it, I would probably go to jail.
This is why I wrote SQUISHER'S ATONEMENT. Because why do we feel animals are second class to humans? Why are their lives worth less than ours? I'm glad I am not going to jail, but I think my mind has put me in prison anyway.
I hear that scream as I drive. I gasp. I get all tingly around my shoulders and my ears start to ring...I feel like I might pass out. But I better not. Then I might kill some people if I pass out while driving.
I am sorry, turtle. You deserved better. I didn't mean to squish you. I hope you are slowly crawling through God's parking lot now without a worry in the world. I will see you in Heaven.
For me, Heaven will be me and all the animals I've ever loved, just cuddling and loving one another. Oh, my family will be there, too, I am sure...But nothing beats a good kiss from a puppy.
Turtles can't kiss. But I hope they can forgive...