Twenty-five years ago, I drove from Austin to Abilene to audition for the principal trumpet job with the Abilene Philharmonic. It was an early morning drive through the Texas countryside, and I was tooling along the highway when a male cardinal darted out from beside the road, right into the path of my car. With no time to react, I hit it. Fortunately, it was not an ill omen. I won the job, and have held it for 24 seasons.

This year, I resigned from the orchestra because I have since won positions with both the Austin Symphony and Austin Opera. So this is my last weekend in Abilene, and I made the drive for about the 170th time today. And, in some strange circle of life, I hit a cardinal again today. Or at least I think I did. I saw it come out from the side of the road in front of my van, but I also saw it flash up over the top. I may have missed it. I hope so.


But then, no more than 3 seconds later, a road runner dashed out from the other side of the road. A f**cking road runner. At least I know I didn’t hit that stupid bird.

What a road runner might look like. Although this one isn’t running in the road.

Update: I hit it.

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