Saturday Night Special, Part II
(Part I is here)
So left I went onto 7th almost laying down the bike before coming out of the turn when my eyes found the coyote, two blocks away standing almost casually in the middle of the street, panting out of the sides of its muzzle while still gripping the bag in its front teeth. Its eyes beamed the headlight’s reflection directly back at me. The lucidum tapetum is what causes that. Funny what you retain and what you don’t.
Out off the north sidewalk came a projectile of some sort toward the animal, maybe a beer or soup can from any of the good number of residents out and about on the sidealk, most of them up to no good, especially the little kids. Kids suck for the most part. I’m all for the religions that preach that whole born-into-sin vibe. All you have do do is watch the way kids act on a school ground or beyond the watchful eyes of their parents (of course, that’s assuming their parents are any better than that kids, which they’re usually not). It amazes me how mean they can be toward each other and toward the world.
The can clattered past the animal and it was followed by the kind of boastful idiotic laughing that emits from that ignorant trashfucking segment of the population that only wipes the snot out of its nose because it tickles their upperlip. But the coyote didn’t flinch. Just continued to stare me down panting as if daring me to follow.
So I did. I let off the brake and clutch and closed to within half the distance, and damn if the coyote didn’t turn and trot up 7th, right down the middle of the street. Although this time, the coyote wasn’t moving with so much self assurance. There was a noticeable change in its gait, and when I passed where it had been standing I paused and found there was a small pool of blood congealing on the asphalt. Not much, but enough to know the creature was in trouble.
The coyote had again paused and stared at me. The fucker was waiting. So off I set again, this time trying to gain on it. Certainly I could’ve opened up the throttle and overtaken the smug striding beastie, but I slowed down when I saw that my burst of speed spooked it a bit and made it stumble and cry out in pain. So instead I just settled in and allowed it to show me the way.
A glance at my watch let me know that game time at Staples was less than an hour away, but suddenly that just wasn’t as important as it had been an hour ago. I toyed with the idea of calling Delores or Delana or whatever the fuck her name was, but decided against it for two reasons: she would end up yelling or crying or yelling and crying, and what exactly was I going to tell her? “Sorry honey, but I can’t make the game tonight. I’m tailing a wounded coyote toward downtown and I’m not sure how long it’ll take?”
Yeah, right. What she don’t know won’t hurt me.
Passing Little on my left and Beacon my right, the coyote continued down 7th, green lights all the way. Then at Union, the animal abruptly turned south, not even looking back to see if I’d follow. At the first street, Cambria, the animal trotted left and we were again headed east, with the tall buildings of downtown as our backdrop behind a block of brightly painted duplexes that had seen better days and better tenants, spaced by vacant lots between them. From within each building that I rolled passed came a different too-loud version of that bass-backed accordion polka-type â€” it’s either called ranchera or banda â€” music that various Mexican radio stations play incessantly.
Unfazed by the noise, the coyote scampered right into a lot through a tear in the wornout chain link fencing that surrounded the property.