Today was my last Monday in America. I am upset that this is the last time the trash is taken out, and I keep finding other Monday things to take note of. I have developed a wistfully sad smile which I use when I see ordinary Monday things. Soon people will back away from me, nervously.
Last night Sarah and I were watching a movie when a call came through at 10:30pm. It was Sarah's 17-year old daughter and I could hear the fear and panic from the other end of the couch. Sarah stood up and paced frantically as her daughter's words, indistinguishable to me in all but tone, explained what had happened. I put on my boots as Sarah found her jacket. I said I'd drive and Sarah said ok.
It was 11pm when we saw the flashing blue and red of police cars on the dark tree-lined road. We pulled in and Sarah ran over to her daughter, unhurt but perfectly still. The police were walking up and down in the dark, looking for skid marks and making notes. With so many trees, the road surface was a carpet of wet leaves. The car had slid across the road, mounted the six-inch high curb, ploughed through the grass and bushes on the right side and smashed headlong into a large and unyielding tree. To the right of the car was a bushy ditch and the car would have rolled into it had another tree not held it fast at the near-side rear corner. Both air bags had deployed, the front of the car smashed into the kind of shape one sees in vehicles where lives were lost. Her wrist was painful and there were bruises from the seat belt but, apart from a pale stillness perhaps, these were her only injuries The Gods were on her side.
Last night the three of us stood on a strange dark road amid the wreckage of a crash that could have defined all our lives for ever. Instead we held each other. I hugged the kid, which never happens. Sarah wanted me to drive her, which never happens. The kid only had a couple of bruises.
Today was my last Monday in America. I am upset that this is the last time the trash is taken out, and I keep finding other Monday things to take note of. It takes a crash to make us see things.
I told Sarah today that I'd rather have her as a good friend than a bad wife. She laughed. We're going to finish watching the movie now. See you all on my last Tuesday.
Slovenia, writing, other things