Monthly Archives: January 2014

around the corner

I went to the grocery store and Wendy’s before picking up my wings and fries. I was five minutes from home.

The Geländewagen in front of me was silver. I remember thinking, “There are two of these in town?” The other one was parked behind either a pharmacy or a chiropractor’s office downtown–it was hard to know which.

It was a G550. I thought, “How much does someone have to make to buy one of these? What would a payment look like?” It was the silver that all Mercedes in the holiday commercials were colored. “$85,000,” I thought. “They start at $85K.” I was wrong. That model starts at $101,000.

We approached the first stop sign, and I thought, “I picked up the food just in time. Traffic is starting to suck.”

The g-wagon increased its distance, so I checked my speedometer. I was going about five under. At the second sign, there was a little more traffic going my and g-wagon’s way, so we sat for a few seconds. He pulled out, and I looked back to see if any traffic was coming as I drifted up to the sign. Nobody. I eased down on the accelerator. I was thinking about which bag I would grab first when I parked in front of the house.

I started thinking about sitting on the couch, and smiling, and laughing. The G550 had started to round the curve ahead. Then, there was too much red light facing me. I didn’t understand what was happening. I looked left. The headlights of two cars gained and lost intensity as they passed me. Still there was red light facing me. I didn’t know why.

The Mercedes was stopped, and its brake lights were strong. “LED, maybe?” I thought, and then pushed down my brake pedal, hard. He was stopped, and I was going to hit him.
I was moving too fast. Those red lights were coming at me too fast. “He’s stopped. Completely stopped, and you’re going to hit him, ” I thought. I looked right. There wasn’t anywhere to go. I was moving toward the red light too fast, and there was nowhere to go. I pushed my foot down harder. The front end started to dip. That inexplicable feeling of my vehicle’s rear end starting to lift consumed me.

The red lights were too bright.
I felt my brakes reach their limit, and I started to picture the rear of that silver Mercedes caved in, my airbags deploying as metal reshaped and twisted. The red was too bright.
I gripped the steering wheel and felt my arms grow hot with blood. I turned the wheel to the right, and felt a distant impact as the front of my Acura pushed into the G550’s bumper.

I saw four flashes of tan and brown. One on our left, three on our right. Deer. Goddamn deer. Of course. The Mercedes had reached a full stop, and I had not. I didn’t text while driving, and I hadn’t had a drop to drink, and I was two blocks from home, and I couldn’t stop.

Then, I was still. No airbags deployed. The Mercedes didn’t move. I heard a thump, and I knew we had collided. I took a breath that lasted for too long. I signaled a right turn and pulled off the main road. The silver Mercedes did the same. I looked at his bumper from my driver’s seat. I saw a discoloration–it was a crack. “Christ,” I thought. “This is going to run me.”

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adverse conveyance

Image

Greetings from a gray mountain town. The only reason it’s gray is because it’s raining.The buildings are a little dull. Lights radiate oddly; their halos offer assurance of something north of sorrow, but shy of hope.

In the wood and stone of a favorite haunt, the pint is just right. In here, people’s spirits are only slightly damp. There’s a midafternoon quiet, but somewhere deep down, people want to cheer up. They’re waiting for something.

We all are.

We brought our feelings in here with us, and we’re not quite sure where to leave them. Or how we can change them. We’d like to accommodate the underlying optimism of this folk music, but it’s so hard, this time of year.

There are a lot of paths converging.

A hard year is dragging behind us.