I was walking around the grounds of my apartment complex today (yes, it has real estate holdings sufficient, I think, to be referred to as “grounds”…not maybe in the pastoral landed class sense, but substantial, with lawns and communal gardens and all) when I came across a possum. An o-possum. Like a big gray rat with a white face and pink lips. I believe they are marsupials, and I am pretty sure they’re supposed to be nocturnal. This one was out in the middle of the day in plain sight on the lawn. Even weirder, it wasn’t doing anything—just standing there, all four paws on the ground, staring at, well, nothing.
I stopped and watched it for awhile, trying to figure out what its deal was. Had my camera with me, and I thought about taking a picture—but in the end, possums just aren’t very photogenic. Especially this one.
I wasn’t any more than ten feet away from it, and it didn’t even acknowledge me. I had a stick with me, as I usually do, and I banged it against a tree to make some noise. I shouted at it. No reaction from the possum. It just stood there, staring at whatever it was staring at it. And twitching. And there were flies. A whole bunch of flies.
It was at this point that I started to get the sick feeling I had experienced this moment before: in zombie films, where the soon-to-be-dead idiot approaches his girlfriend who has been hunched over in front of the sink since he got home, puts a hand on her shoulder asking what’s wrong, turns her around, and….
I left the undead possum to go about its business of communing with the ancestor god or the hive mind or whatever, and went to report the incident to the ladies at the leasing office.
I think they called animal control. I haven’t heard anything since. I did see some people standing around outside waiting for the bus. They didn’t look like zombies. I dunno. The wife isn’t home yet.