Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Life for a box of pizza

Life-changing events rarely blink, “check engine.” I was 17. My mission, propel pies through space and time in less than 30 minutes. Music exploded from tiny speakers. Hills bounced up-and-down as I screamed through the wind in my metallic blue wagon. Distance was the enemy and I was the destroyer.

He was maybe 12 as life walked him home. His sticky feet clung to the brief, narrow shoulder. No homework, his backpack swung gleefully. In his mind beamed a lighthouse of Fruit Loops and Scooby. His little tugboat was almost home. One more hilly bounce and I came barreling behind him. My fender screamed bloody murder. I squeezed that wheel like a death-filled cobra. Stiff and straight my only direction, spine to foot I forged a girder.

Two inches missed him, but only in theory. For my heart and soul smacked him down that day. My chassis sent his flesh-filled body sailing. I can see his baby sister screaming behind a window. Her mother rendered wretched, a liquid pile of sadness. His dad a propped scarecrow guarding a hollow heavy casket.

Life for a box of pizza. Forever I remember those tiny two inches. When life swiped its sizzling claws and I saw those fangs, drooling with brevity.

2 comments:

Claire said...

this is so vividly written. it is saddening and awakening.

Wine Geek said...

"When life swiped its sizzling claws and I saw those fangs, drooling with brevity."....ahhh...brilliant!