The What’s Happening To My Body Book For Deer There are many things your parents may be too shy or embarrassed to talk to you about. We are here to reassure you that it is perfectly normal to be confused or upset about your changing physical form. After a life spent in the absence of antlers, it can be quite alarming when they begin to bud and then sprout from the soft fur of your head. Antlers come in all shapes and sizes, none better than any other. However, all deer begin to grow antlers on the hundredth day of their lives. If there is no sign of your antlers on this date, not even a portentous cloud, something is seriously wrong with you – this book cannot help. You may notice some growing pains in your legs as they begin to lengthen, and in your eyes as they begin to show you the inevitable cracks forming in the very foundations of your reality. This happens to most young deer and should decrease in intensity around the time your fur starts to form itself into small barbed spikes around your hooves. Your parents may be most reluctant to discuss with you your newfound taste for blood. To them, it represents your transition into adulthood, away from the innocent fawn who once only fed on grasses and bark. We are here to advise you that your first bloodmeal may be awkward or messy, but what is important is that you want it – what is important is that as your jaws clench around that first morsel of flesh and your teeth dig in, everything feels right, from the warm blood pooling in your cheeks to the sudden absence of a small creature’s shrieks or squeals, the silence you created in your own throat. the deer become stoners they’re hotboxing a van by the river with the bad kids again, fur reeking of bong water, eyes glassy and narrowed. later they’ll roll out the door through a cloud of smoke and give the chipmunks a contact high, show up at 7/11 hungry for doritos and gummy bears. sometimes they end up on someone’s trampoline, or breaking into a pool, but most nights it’s the same burn run over and over, a loop through woods and fields, through a haze of human smog. the deer become pre-teens suddenly, the woods are full of magazine cutouts, glittered with watermelon body spray, echoing with shrieks & key-clacks & the telltale noise of someone signing on to AIM. the deer’s hooves are painted ungodly colors and some of them have stacks of bracelets around their ankles and are daring each other to rip them off. their tattoos are temporary, thank god, but a few of them have figured out how to get the older deer to buy them wine coolers, the hems of their skirts and shirts inching higher by the hour. the deer can take care of themselves, though. they’re smart girls. you wouldn’t understand the things they’re planning on three-way calls. you wouldn’t understand the things they do in the dark. mall deer it gets so you don’t notice them any more – only the people coming from out of town for the big H&M and the Super Target seem to pay them any mind. sure, three or four of them together can get kinda rowdy, and a couple once chased off a TCBY employee for being out of spicy mustard, but overall the deer are just like the rest of the teens – shoplifting makeup, getting their ears pierced at Claire’s, gathering all the talismans against loneliness this country has to offer. up the elx still wobbly-kneed and wet-eyed, the fawns wear their vests everywhere, sleeping curled in camouflage broken only by blue denim, itself broken by pins and patches, scrawled with slogans and logos, screenprinted by tiny hooves. they spend their nights in sweaty basements, crushing cans into the floor and talking big about anarchy. the fawns don’t know that none of this will last, that bands break up or disappoint you, that growing backs burst the seams of vests, leaving them on the forest floor next to the antlers of their fathers.
September 17, 2015