Last year, I finally cast away urban life and moved to a small town, like I'd always wanted. You can't really call Matawatchan a town though. It's more of a refuge from the concrete wastelands people call "cities." People set up small vacation homes there in its outdoor solitude. Not me. I made it my permanent home.
Ryan was a city boy through and through. I could never have convinced him to give it up. It's funny how love is. You blindly give up the things you care about the most in a desperate attempt to belong. But I could never belong in a city.
So I found my dream home, a fully equipped lakeside cabin, tucked away in a corner of Ontario's woodlands. Got me a job at a paper mill. There's no glory to working in a paper mill. You work eight hours and go home smelling like rotten eggs. But you get used to the smell and I've got no one else around to complain anyway.
The only difficulty is having to drive forty miles back and forth to work every day. But it's really not that bad. I actually find the drive rather… soothing.
One day, I was driving home from work near enough to sunset. It'd been a long day and I kept nodding off as I drove. Then suddenly…smack! I woke up with a start. I had hit something with my car. I pulled over to see what it was. As I got out, my heart was pounding in my chest from the adrenaline rush.
I walked back about twenty yards and there it was. I had flattened a hare. Rolling it over with my foot, I noticed it bore a striking resemblance to one of my favorite childhood toys, Buster the bunny. Hey, I didn't name it. I wanted to call him "Playboy" after some older boys at school had convinced that it was a great name it was for a rabbit. But my parents insisted on Buster.
Still buzzing from the adrenaline, I got back in my car and drove off. Then I got to thinking, "I just killed an innocent being, and no one will ever know." And somehow the thought thrilled me. As I drove on in the dimness of twilight, my headlights were reflected back at me by the startled eyes of a raccoon that was crossing ahead. Reflexively, I moved my foot to the brake, but stopped. There was no one else on the road but me. Instead, I slammed my foot back on the accelerator, plowing headlong into the innocent critter. My heart raced yet again as I made contact. I could see its grey body in my rearview mirror, still rolling from the impact. I laughed, giddy from the new power I'd found in my car. That's the beauty of being alone. You make discoveries that society would ordinarily prevent you from making.
Then I saw a moose ...