My Nerves Had Got Bad

  Right now it’s 3:43 in the morning and I’m laying in bed thinking of my dear friend Jackie, of how I know exactly what she was talking about when she’d say her nerves had got bad. Because right now, Jackie, at this moment my nerves are bad, girl. There are coyotes in the back yard yipping and howling and that would work on anybody’s sanity. They have been a problem all fall but this week they’ve gotten very badass and now they boldly roam the YARD and harass the two “guard” dogs. 

     Also, they want my CHICKENS! That I’ve worked so hard to raise and give a good life. And they feed me! Also, when I get  down and wanna feel sorry for myself I can go out there and tend to them and get over myself. So hell, no, those coyotes are not getting any chicken dinner if I can help it.

     Abigail wanted to sleep on the sofa but we couldn’t rest becauseof the howling and yipping. That’s a spooky sound, too. And also Buster the rooster was crowing about every 25 seconds cause he ain’t giving up his hoes just like that to nobody–he was crowing, “I wish a coyote would–cock a doodle doo!!!! 

     I had no choice but to get the rifle out and at least just shoot in their direction to scare them away from my birds. Abigail was pumping me up and said, ” Mama, go grab that gun, get out there and shoot! But you should probably shoot straight up into the air.”  I just nod my head and say ok. It’s a testament to how fried I was that I didn’t even question how she might’ve acquired that knowledge about firearms and bullets and trajectories. 

     She made sure I was ready to shoot and went back inside.  She apparently had a good idea of how loud the shot was about to be–unlike her ignorant mother– and she doesn’t wanna go deaf at 13 so she took her leave. 

     “You should probably shoot straight up into the air.” Hmm…seems logical now. But who am I kidding here? I’ve never been one to go with a logical choice so why start now with something as  important as firearm safety?? Anyway, she had her head covered up with three pillows to muffle the noise and couldn’t see me and therefore couldn’t boss me around at that particular moment in space and time. 

     I did not shoot straight up into the air. I shot straight out into the night and in the direction of the unseen but not unheard coyotes. The loudness was piercing and it was the only thing I could feel for a few seconds. I could feel it in my teeth. I hate loud noises. 

     Then I felt the soreness in my shoulder and arm and you already know that thing kicked me good when both barrels went off. I had to come clean with Abigail but she didn’t fuss at me. 

     One of the two dogs is geriatric and has some dementia issues going on so she flipped out when the gun fired. And for the last two hours I’ve had to listen to the skin-crawling sound of her compulsive, sloppy, loud, licking of every reachable spot on her body. 

     So yeah. My nerves had got bad.They don’t have to stay bad, thank God. But the coyotes have got to leave or be extinguished. Maybe I should get a megaphone and make the classic announcement, “Hear ye, hear ye! You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay up in here!”


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