Sunday, May 14, 2006

Crash on the Highway

when we were spinning around in the car and i realized that there really wasn't a thing i could do to correct the situation, i'd already over corrected--maybe a metaphor for my life--so i closed my eyes as we hurdled toward a reflective post and into the ditch. we hit the ground and the car immediatly flopped over onto the roof. we were upside down and i just froze. if liz hadn't made moves to get out of the car as fast as she had i suppose i would have stayed there, shocked, until fear overwhelmed me to get out.

i unbuckled my seat belt and opened the driver's door--the only door still able to open. i crawled out over the crumbled glass and stood up to walk around to the passenger side to help liz out, as if there were just child locks on the door or something. when i got around to the other side of the car i realized the gravity of the situation. it was entirely smashed into the ground and the windsheild was dangling into the passenger area. i started calling liz's name frantically--i hadn't seen that she had crawled out right after me and made her way up to the highway. i ran around to the car and looked in to see how i could help her, but she was gone. i spun around to find her in the surrounding night lit up by the head lights that were still on and the orange blinking construction sign just up the highway.

a van stopped after we ran up to the guard rail to flag them down. two older men, one 80 and one about 50, ran to us and yelled to see if we were okay. we said that we were and then they called 9-11 on their phone. the oldest man tried to call from my cell phone that i pulled from my bag after wrenching the bag from the back seat of the car. he couldn't figure out how to turn it on and i was so shook up i didn't really know how to show him.

as they were calling i went back to the smoking car, leaned in through the driver's side to put it in park and turn it off. i shut off the head lights and everything about the asthetics of the situation changed. it was now quiet and dark. the only noticable light left was the blinking orange of the road work sign. liz was sitting down against the guard rail, shaking. when i walked over to her i stopped right abover her. she said: we shouldn't have driven home at night. i replied: the worst thing that could happen did and we're okay. but we weren't okay. we had just been too close to violently dying.

the silence of the scene was broken by sirens. i don't think i've ever taken so much comfort in that sound. as what had happened was recorded by authorities and we were checked out the meaning of the wreck became heavy on my mind, more real. i could walk around, i was pacing, and liz was stationary next to the guard rail. the paramedics came twice to make sure she was okay and so after the second round of examination she made her way into the sheriff's car to be out of the cold and into some quiet. her head wouldn't stop spinning.

i walked around picking up our lives from the ground, dust still settling back into it. there were so many buttons everywhere. little dots of color amidst bright fabrics, bottles of gifts, books, clothes, packs, food, tapes, money, and little drops of blood from liz's cut hand.

the sheriff drove us to a the super 8 of hayes, KS after i packed our stuff into the back seat of the car and it was towed off to five star auto repair. the sheriff was nice, but quiet. i'm sure he'd had to do this a million times. liz told him every place we'd been and how we were just five hours from home. we took baths when we got up to the room. liz first. me second. i smoked a cigarette as i layed in the water and tried not to sob. we layed in bed both trying to sleep a little, but i could hear liz jerk around and i was jerking into being awake ever so often too. the only thing i could see when i closed my eyes was the car spinning and in my imanginations of it i tried to figure a way to fix it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


thank god you guys are alright.

That's real crazy... and bad luck.

Hopefully you'll heal up nice and fast.

Look on the bright side, at least you're home now.

-James from Wooden Shoe