I’m not sure what’s happening. I was turning left. Blinker on, just about to release the clutch pedal and smoothly cross over on to 80th street. Just six blocks from home.
Now, I’m not sure though. I’m not sure what’s going on. At all. This doesn’t make sense. I’m moving forward. It’s like the car is driving by itself. Except gravity is all wrong. I’m falling. I’m falling away from the car. Out the hatch. So are the odd items sitting on the dash. They’re shooting toward me. Its like they’ve been flicked off the counter by some lunchroom bully. Why is he throwing these things at me? No. That’s not it.
No. That’s not it.They are running away from me. They are sick of being here and they are leaving. The little quartz crystals. The bird feathers. The twigs and sticks plucked from road trips all over the eastern United States. Holly from outside the Smithsonian. Acorns from the cabin. They’re suspended all around me. They are flying out the back window. I have offended them.
I still can’t figure out what’s happening, but I am not moving again. I haven’t taken my foot off the clutch yet. I think I can still probably make that left turn, although I’m not sure I’m facing the right way. But I should just go. My body is screaming at me to run. My body is demanding I get out of the car and run away. I need to be safe. I need to find somewhere to hide.
My brain is not helping. It’s not sure what happened yet. It’s not sure why we haven’t turned left. It’s confused. There was a bump. A jolt. The drive is still skittering across the platter looking for the remnants of the last I/O. It’s like I’m buffering. My body screams at me to get out of the car. My brain says nothing. So I get out.
I’m outside the car now. Brain is figuring it out now. It’s got new data. It’s outside the bubble of the inside of the car. We were in an accident. We were hit. Yes. We experienced this. We should see if we are ok. We’re ok. Of course we’re ok. Who cares, anyway. The car is not ok. I am not going home yet. I am six blocks away from home and I could probably run there without a break. I should call someone.
The man is out of his blue truck. He is looking very sad. He has a white beard. Maybe. He’s asking me if I’m ok. I sway a little on my legs. I should tell him. I need to say something to him.
I get out that one word before I realize I don’t know the right thing to say. The brain is still buffering. Don’t say something mean. Don’t make this a fight my brain says. What should I do, my body says. Run. my body says. Run away.
No. My brain says. No. Tell him its ok. Tell him you are sorry.
NO! My body shouts. We’re not sorry. He hit us! We’re not sorry at all. We should hit him. In return. That would be fair.
No! My brain says. Don’t be stupid. Tell him something honest.
My heart takes over.
“I. am. very. angry. with. you.” my heart says to the man.
The man nods. I see he is heart sick over this. I am not making it easy on him. I feel bad. But my brain is churning so slow. It doesn’t know what to say. I am so confused.
Call for help. my brain says. Call for help now. Ok. I call for help. “Help.” I say. “Call 911.”
“Are you calling 911?” the man asks.
“I don’t know,” I say. The 911 operator asks me what’s happening. I think about the EMH from Star Trek Voyager. “Please state the nature of the medical emergency.”
Just pulled into Wales Community Park. I'd been circling around Wales looking for a forest or tree to crawl in, feeling kind of crummy and avoiding being mad at my client who had just called to tell me he was going to be a half-hour late.
There are a number of "old" subdivisions in wales. Nice big houses on big lots with old growth trees and that sort of thing. Nice houses tucked way back from the road behind a ridge of trees. Very nice.
Found a house for sale there: $425,000. I suspect I could negotiate down the $25,000. I wonder briefly where the other $400,000 will come from.
I look up and see the disk golfers-- fucking hippies-- following their frizbies around a largely un-treed savannah grassland. This isn't a park, its a wasteland.
Maybe one day it will be beautiful. Not today.
The downs I'm paying for the up I sustained last week-- and will sustain in the coming week of road travel-- are massive. And, what's frustrating about them is not that they're so painful or desperate. That the're just so goddamn apathetic. Big picture stuff wraps itself around my legs making me anxious, but little picture stuff-- the here and now-- is too easy to let go of. Too easy to not care about.
One step at a time. One more step forward. Towards the top of the mountain. Towards hope. And all that.
The clover at the park is deep green and pocked by the white flowwerheads, which bobble in the feeble breeze raking the Wales Community Park. This is not living. This is hiding. I close my laptop and head over to my client meeting. I will try very hard to be engaged and energetic with him. He will not be able to tell how morose I feel.
Tomorrow is another day.
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