I just hit a deer. Thank god, thank god, thank god, I was only going 15 miles an hour. I was cresting the tiny hill on the narrow residential street in my neighborhood - the deer bolted out in front of me from between two cars. I hit my brakes as hard as I could, but his entry into the street matched my passing precisely. I smacked him and knocked him down, and time slowed down. I could feel the strength go right out of my legs, my hands started shaking, and my breathing sped up. I put on my hazards and tried to step out of my car, but my legs were too wobbly.
Strangely, for 5:30 in the evening, the street was empty - no cars coming by. No pedestrians walking from the Metro. Had anyone seen this, I'm sure they would have come over to see if the deer and I were okay. While I sat there, trying to get some power in my legs, the deer stood up. He was big. Really big. Both he and I are lucky I wasn't going full speed up the hill.
Damn, damn lucky.
He seemed stunned, and he turned and stared at me as if to say, "You idiot! Didn't you know I was going to bolt out right then and there, on a dark street, between parked cars?" And with that, he was off. I moved my car down to the condo office parking lot to see what damage had been done. Miraculously, my car doesn't have a single scrape. Just a bent license plate (which was in bad shape anyway), and a tuft of hair caught in my right front light assembly.
Lucky impact angle. Lucky me. Lucky deer.
I've wondered when I'd finally have a deer encounter, seeing as they are always hovering around my building, looking vaguely lost. Now I've had one, and my hands are still shaking, and my legs are still wobbly, and my neck hurts, and I don't need any more deer encounters, please sir, thank you very much.
Lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky...
Be careful, y'all. The deer are more insane than ever this season.