Fearwalk – Naked Prey

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At midnight a few days ago a predator stalked me while I was naked in the hot tub. I live in San Rafael on 5 acres of land on the edge of 1500 acres of open space, so animals visit us all the time. But this night was to be
different.

I turned off all the lights in the house to better see the night sky from the tub, grabbed my towel, and used my Iphone to light the way. I flipped the cover half open, set my Iphone and towel on the top, and edged into the steamy heat of the tub. My body relaxed as I began to soak, take a few deep breaths, and let my eyes gaze up at the night’s sky

Then I heard a familiar, yet startling sound. I sat bolt upright in the tub to attenuate my senses. I heard the earth shake with the rapid thuds of a large beast running down the hill toward me. Fast.

Within seconds, I witnessed the silhouette of large animal with a substantial head of antlers race by me, and it was being pursued by another somewhat lower profile animal that in the darkened night looked to be the size
of a great dane.

As they raced by within a stone’s throw of the hot tub, they disappeared from my line of sight. I heard one of them stop, turn around, and begin coming toward me at a much slower pace. I strained my eyes to see as my heartbeat quickened, and heard it moving into position on the hill 15-20 feet from the hot tub. I felt like prey.

My adrenaline spiked as fear took hold. As I sat naked in the hot tub, straining to determine what to do next, I heard a hissing noise as it rustled the bushes above me, accompanied by a deeper vibrational sound I couldn’t decipher. I was scared.

I reached for the towel, stood up as tall as I could in the steaming hot water, and stretched the towel out over my head, trying to look as big as possible. I began yelling at the animal as my eyes strained to see what it was.

We had coyotes in our yard a few weeks back, and i figured I could intimidate it to go away. But the hissing & breathing sounds from the bush grew deeper and louder. My scare tactics weren’t working,

so in a flash I was out of the tub and making a run for the door. I made it inside and slammed the door behind me. I was dripping warm water onto our hardwood floors, panting like an animal, and gazing outside at where the animal might be.

I fumbled for the lights and wondered where my Iphone flashlight was. FUCK! It was on top of my towel on the hot tub cover. Did it fall in the water? Damn, my last one cost over $600 to replace. My mind raced…I gotta go get it.

I turned on all the outside lights, waited just a few short minutes, and, like a human trying to win the darwin awards, went outside again toward the predators hideout to look for the phone.

My brain seemed to switch off the survival instinct of avoiding the predator in favor of saving my favorite electronic possession. ummmm…duh.

I turned on the tub light and saw my iphone under 3 feet of water. Without thinking of the predator on the hill above, I quickly fished the device out and ran back inside to dry it off.

My heart was still racing so I awoke my father, who was staying for the week, to tell him the story, and then had a fitful sleep.

The next day I shared the story of the predator & the iphone to a business coaching client of mine after our meeting. He was familiar with the animals of Marin County, and politely informed me that it was most likely a ountain lion that chased the deer and stalked me. Coyotes and Bobcats are the next biggest predators, but are too small to be chasing deer.

Mountain Lion’s, however, feed on deer for most of their diet. They often hide out and pounce on their prey, and are capable of a 20-40 foot leap, well within range of me in the hot tub. They often knock their prey to the ground as they are running away, and sink their teeth into the neck vertebrae to make the kill. How terribly unpleasant.

But I survived! And after a day of drying my iphone out on the dash of my car with the heat on full blast, I am happy to report that i am still firmly attached, addicted and reliant on my electronic exoskeleton.

Who wants to come over for a hot tub?

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