Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Something Wicked And Wonderful Up There Splashed Me Like A Sauce Of Forgiveness

For whatever reason a deer sighting always hits me in the gut. There's just something other-worldly about them that reaches inside of me and cranks at my insides, leaving me contemplating the sighting and then the whole of my life afterward. Perhaps it's the rarity of a sighting, although living in Utah makes it less so. My Mom lives on the mountains that rim the valley and border the Rockies on their western front. Walk a block up her street and you can spot dozens of deer leaping and dancing across the mountainside.

When we first got married Serge and I would take Max and my Mom's dog Spliffer for walks and they'd spot or smell the deer way up on the mountain and chase and chase and chase. An hour later Serge and I would still be standing there, sometimes able to see the black and white specks of the two dogs and sometimes they'd disappear for hours. Finally, they'd come ambling down the mountains, pink tongues dripping with the foamy slobber that spattered their entire faces.

One time, when we'd just moved back from Brooklyn I went for a jog on the mountain trails. Serge was still in New York recording his last album with Marah. I was running my ass off, probably running from my life, to the song featured up there in the BRAND NEW "Currently Digging" section of this site. Wolf Like Me, the song's called. I was running and running. Up trails and down trails. And it started to snow. I'd even venture to call it a blizzard. In April. It's just like a snow globe, I remember thinking as I rounded a corner and stopped short.

There, standing not twenty feet from me, was a massive buck, his antlers dark slashes among the snowflakes that whirled between us. He was staring at me with those large, human eyes. At the second I spotted the buck the song hit the 2:06 mark you can find on the link over there. We stood there facing off against each other. Life, suddenly a Christmas snow globe. My heart was pounding but not from running. My hands began to shake and it felt like the universe opened up and zapped a lightning bolt straight into my heart. I started to cry. Tears streamed down my face and still, the buck continued looking at me, almost in sympathy it felt like.

It was a full minute that we stood there staring at each other. I know because the buck turned and bounded away the second the song's beat kicks back in at 3:06. If you've ever seen a deer run then you know how amazing it is. They don't even touch the ground they just sort of fly low, legs a blur of movement over the ground.

I watched until the big boy disappeared into the blizzard then sat down and bawled my eyes out. It was just one of those moments, you know? Life stops or rather it coalesces into a moment. A song, a blizzard a buck and me. I walked home thinking about that scene from Stand By Me where Gordie Lachance sees the deer. Like him I kept it to myself, until now.

Yesterday around six in the morning Serge exploded into our bedroom shouting Hurry, hurry, get up! Come see this! Usually I'd tell him to go fuck himself, I'm not interested in this episode of Outdoor Fishing or whatever the hell it is he's up to at that ungodly hour. As I've explained before, I'm NOT a morning person. But the excited quality in his voice dragged me from my cozy cocoon out into our living room where he was frantically pointing out the front window.

Let me explain that although Salt Lake City is nestled in the mountains we live in the middle of the valley. The mountains are miles away from our home. Dozens of neighborhoods, roads and freeways lie between us and the mountains. Nonetheless, there they were. Their hooves beating a staccato rhythm into the street in front of our house. Our own private deer parade in the purple-y dawn of a western morning. Even the normally vocal Milo was shocked into a growly silence. We stood there, Serge, me, Violet, Max and Milo, in awed silence, watching the visitors pass by our home.

At the last second I thought to grab my camera and got this footage. Not much, but you get the point.

**ITEM: If you're a fan of Serge's blog and are interested in his music definitely click here for a free listen to his last album. The last song is called Wilderness. That's Serge singing. He wrote the song after spending days up in the mountains above my Mom's house chasing deer with the dogs, but the entire album is brilliant. Serge's brother Dave gives Max a shout out in the first song. Max was very pleased. And Serge wrote Songbirdz about me. That's him singing on this one too. I was very pleased.