Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ironic...or Just a Pisser?

He had a sort of premonition, a vague thought that he was going to die on his way home from work today. He was not a spiritual man and not prone to believing such nonsense. And besides, thoughts like these had popped into his head before and had amounted to nothing. The feeling passed quickly and he set his mind back to his work. Later he was walking to the bathroom and passed two women talking to each other. He didn’t know what they were discussing; he only caught one phrase as he went by. It was “dead man walking.” He laughed to himself and thought, perhaps, a superstitious man would not go home tonight. He was not a superstitious man, however, and when the time came he packed up his things. On the way to his car he noticed how perfect the day was. The sky was completely clear of clouds, the sun shining bright. He smiled and got in his car and started it. The radio began playing and he recognized the song immediately. It was “Highway to Hell.” For the first time all day he felt a twinge of discomfort. “Don’t be ridiculous,” he told himself, and he backed out of his parking spot. Nothing happened. He proceeded on to the Interstate and across a bridge where before this he had narrowly escaped getting in an accident. He drove without incident to the country road that would take him home. It was a hilly road with many blind curves. It would have been a dangerous road if it was more heavily traveled but, in fact, it was neither. He began to relax; he would go slowly around the corners and take great care cresting the hills. He would be home in ten minutes. He laughed at himself for feeling even that twinge of discomfort. He made his way carefully past all potential obstacles and came to the final stretch of road. It was downhill and utterly straight. He could see a full mile of the road ahead. There were no cars in sight. He sped up so that he might celebrate his confidence. He taunted his premonition; he knew that the conversation and song were simple coincidences. He pushed the accelerator down some more. His stomach rose and tingled. The car responded impressively. He had never gone so fast in this car and was now thanking “fate” for inspiring him to see what this car could do. What a rush! The stop sign was coming up fast - unusually fast, he realized, as he pressed the brakes. Still, he knew he had enough road left to stop completely. He stole a glance at the tall grass that was still whizzing past his window. He wanted to feel the speed at which he was traveling. A bit of stress seemed to leave him and cling to each blade of grass he passed. He felt as light as a child. He looked back at the road after only a couple seconds. It had been a couple of seconds in which, while he was looking at the grass on his left, a cow had come out from the grass on his right. He saw it immediately but knew he was going too fast to stop in time. He veered sharply to the right and his car sailed across the ditch and collided with an old oak tree. The tree shuddered but did not give way. It had seen worse than this. Neither the car nor its driver ever had, though. 

1 comment:

  1. you don't need the last sentence.

    ReplyDelete