Friday, September 9, 2011

Swirl

“Damn! The trailer doesn’t let me see which side I am supposed to be on,” she said as she reached the fork in the road where she had to switch freeways. She should have slowed down then.
But she made a choice, the wrong choice. She tried to cross to the correct lane through the no man’s land that creates the fork. There was a hole in the ground and she panicked.
What the fuck did I just do?! A tire is going to get caught in the hole and pop! We are going to fall into the river. We are going to die! What have I done?! How do I fix it?! Those were the thoughts that crossed her head in the span of three seconds. Next thing she knew, her car was spinning and she heard everyone screaming. She saw the edge of the river and somehow pulled the steering wheel in the opposite direction. The car went on a half circle, but it didn’t stop moving back and forth in a 180-degree angle. My foot is accelerating! What am I doing?! I need to brake!! But her attempt to move her foot to the brake was a failed one.
The car kept spinning back and forth threatening to go over the edge and fall into the river at times and then going to the other side with the threat of crossing over the split of the fork and heading straight into traffic.
The screams she heard. The screams she saw. She knew she was screaming too, but she couldn’t tell. She just knew it. She just wanted it to stop. She didn’t want to die. Not yet. She didn’t want everyone else to die either.
The e-brake she was told she pulled, but she doesn’t remember when or how. What the fuck is going on?! Stop! How do I stop this?! How do we not fall into the river?! How do we not head straight to traffic? Stop! She saw the cars coming their way as the car was spinning. Her life didn’t flash through her eyes, so maybe that meant she was not going to die right there and then.
After a few more seconds of panic, the car came to a complete stop. She saw her foot on the accelerator though she thought she had moved it to the brake. The car was facing the traffic on the other side of the fork. There were cars moving behind her and she just tried to breath. Breath. Breath. What the fuck just happened?!
The question resonated: Are you ok? Are you ok?
She looked around the car and everyone looked like they had just taken a walk through hell, with good reason, of course. Her neck hurt and so did her arm. The blood in her veins rushed through her body as if trying to escape, but failing to find a way out. The simple thought of reversing the car and turning a little so they could leave escaped her. She just sat there. Shock. The thoughts in her head were clear: We are alive. We didn’t die. We are ok. How? Her brain couldn't explain what had just occurred as it only seemed to care about the very fact of remaining alive.
Then, there was the voice that not only asked if she was ok, but stated they should switch positions so she would not have to drive. She got off the car and someone else asked if everyone was fine. It was a voice from a driver passing by. Yes, we are fine, she assured him, thank you for asking. While she went around the car, she saw the marks in the ground. They had spanned around for what looked like an infinite spiral that went on for about 100 feet. It felt forever, yet it didn’t look forever. It had lasted only seconds.
Distractedly, she tried to get in through the wrong door. But she reacted quickly and tried to make a joke about it that was not taken well. Everyone was in shock. Past memories haunted them. She sat and a couple of minutes later they left the scene.
It was too late for what she kept thinking she should have done.
For hours she was haunted by one thought that carved at her brain. It was a question that carved like a wooden knife on a table because she lacked the answer.

xo,R
©2011

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xo,R