Forever Young: Lane Change
April 19, 2011
The cool morning air hangs in my lungs. Frost sticks to my sneakers. Red and blue lights penetrate the lazy fog drifting over the highway.
A day like this isn’t ordinary, and yet, it is. Ordinary is something we consider to be part of the natural order of things: normal, customary and routine. My car upside-down and wrapped around a telephone pole isn’t something I consider ordinary. However, in the grand scheme of things, it’s all too commonplace. Thousands of car wrecks happen every hour.
Some piece of scum was passing on a double yellow around a curve. I had to whip my car off the road to save my body from being pulped. The first thing that I thought before my SUV flipped over was, “I’m going to be late to work.”
Really. That’s what I thought. No existential realizations, no split-second side shows of everyone and everything I’ve ever loved. “I’m going to be late to work.” And then, “this is going to be expensive.”
I unbuckled my seat belt, fell onto the ceiling, beat back the airbag and crawled out of the car. I wasn’t hurt at all. I call the authorities. Then, for fifteen minutes, I did nothing but stand there and stare at the twisted steel.
Entering a crash, one’s first concerns should not be work and expenses. I should have been thinking about life and love and just how good the air tastes and how great it is to simply exist.
“I’m going to quit my job,” I lie down in the grass beside my car and smile.
– Kevin Fournier, a senior at Middle Park High School, originally wrote this as a creative writing assignment.