It appeared in my in-box today: a note from Nixle (basically a police plotter-type service intended for paranoid peeps like myself) announcing that a boa constrictor had been found in my old neighborhood, just steps off the path of my old running route. "Crazy shit happening in the old 'hood, huh?" I wrote to Joanne. "OMG. Can you imagine if you'd seen this on your run?" I zipped off to Renee.
Then, about an hour later, I read about two brothers strangled to death, while they slept, by an African rock python. The coincidence was bizarre.
My heart hurt thinking about those little boys in New Brunswick, each two years ahead of my little guys. Thinking of their parents. Holy awful shit.
I'm afraid of everything: Great Whites off the coast of the Cape, busy highways, fast-moving traffic. I worry about fluke falls and calm waters that might seduce a confident preschooler into sneaking off for a solo swim. I fear I wouldn't do the right thing if I crossed a bear in the woods with my kid. I worry when I hear how loud the clunk is when an apple drops down from high branches onto my deck. Should we chop down the tree? Surely I hit like that would really hurt a little head. It could even... You never know when danger will descend.
Today's tragic story of the python and the sleeping boys didn't stoke a fear of snakes (that's actually pretty low on my list). But it did suggest that there are dangers I haven't even thought of yet, something I hardly thought was possible. Good lord.