As I was driving out in the middle of nowhere I found myself counting roadkill as a distraction from the loneliness on the highway. It had been hours since I had seen another car. The speed limit was 80 and I was probably doing closer to 90 MPH. 70, 71, 72, I continued counting roadkill. I fantasized about collecting all the skulls to create some sort of monument. A bit gruesome but I was sick of listening to the same 3 cd’s and radio stations were not coming in.
It was at roadkill 76 that as I sped passed I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw the road kill stand up. It looked like it was a man but I was moving fast. It was about 10 miles before I came to an exit and I decided to head back . The thought of someone being outside in the 104 degree heat with nothing around was gnawing at me. I headed back west and it was 2 miles to an exit to turn around. Maybe I was seeing things. Once I was heading east again I slowed down and continued my game of counting roadkill. Then I saw him lying on the side of the road. I stopped and gave him water and he drank. I asked him if i could take him somewhere and he looked at me and said, I am not getting in an automobile with a white woman. I went to my car and put all my water and gatorade in a garbage bag and left it with him. He looked at me and nodded as if to say thank you. After leaving him on the side of the road I called 911 to report a man sleeping next to roadkill on the highway and shared that he would not let me give him a lift. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about him.