I rear ended a Toyota. Six years ago. I was driving the highway, John Conlee was on the radio singing “Rose Colored Glasses.”
I can close my eyes and recall the whole scene. It had been a bad week. A bad year. And it got worse.
A car ahead of me slammed its brakes. The tailpipe came toward me so fast I didn’t have time to say: “Holy Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego!”
The crash was loud. I blacked out.
When I awoke, I was lying in the median. Paramedics were around me. I couldn’t remember my name. I was out of it.
“You’re gonna be okay,” the EMT said. “You’re just in shock. And look on the bright side, kid, at least you didn’t poop your pants.”
Thank God for small blessings.
They rushed me to the ER. No broken bones. Only bruises. A doctor shined a light in my eyes and inspected my neurological reactions.
He was a white-haired man who said, “Say your ABC’s backward
for me, son.”
I closed my eyes and said, “‘Your ABC’s backward, son.’”
A good laugh was had by all—except the doctor, who charged an extra fourteen hundred bucks for laughter.
That night, I sat on the sofa with bruised ribs. The medication my wife had given me made me loopy, I was starting to see things. Julia Child, for instance, was on television, descaling a fish with a acetylene blowtorch.
I thought she was the loveliest woman I’d ever seen.
So my truck was totalled. My face was beat-up. My collarbone and ribs hurt.
It was the worst day ever. And I’d just come off the heels of what had been the worst month ever.
Weeks earlier, my longtime dream of becoming a writer had been squashed—I’d been rejected from an academic writing program.
AND: I had…