Driving Down

Snow's falling on the windshield. The heater is busted. Time is slow. The pace is too. Cars breathe against each other in a congestion I can't handle.

Because I forgot why I was driving.

My gloves grip the steering wheel a little harder. My right foot barely kisses the accelerator. My heart's beating too fast for something so trivial.

There's an accident outside my window.

A woman is spitting blood onto the icy pavement. She fell out of her car like a slinky down the stairs. Look at her lie there. I think that's her windpipe trying to break free from the skin of her neck. Her kids are still in the minivan. Pretty sure they're dead or dying. The paramedics haven't made it to the scene.

I'm still trying to listen to my CD's. Anything to take my mind off the wreckage I can see. Press the skip button, press the repeat button, press the eject button, I want to press any button I can.

I switch to the radio, maybe I'll hear a Christmas carol. Angels we have heard on high? They should be down here by now. They always show before the paramedics do. That's why car crashes are so fatal. That's why no one is supposed to survive.

I've stopped pushing the accelerator. There's no point in trying to move forward from this, my car's come to a complete stop. Fog is distorting my windows, but I still got a view. The taillights in front of me are fading. Headlights simmer from the other side of the highway, I always feel like their looking at me. The other driver with his sunglasses and sports car, looking at me, telling me how I am, how I'm supposed to be. I don't like rich people.

Looks like other cars are pulling up finally. Everyone wants to see the dead. See the carnage. It's how we operate. It's how we exist.

And I really want this lady with the broken windpipe to die already. She keeps mouthing "help me" right to my face. It makes me sick. How much longer huh? Is she going to keep trying to talk to me? Other people are getting out, helping her. I'm no hero; she isn't going to see that from me.

In an emergency, there are always going to be others to help the wounded. That's why we hesitate. We don't want to get our hands dirty. Not dirty from the blood of some lady with a broken windpipe, and dead children.

I switch back to my CD's.

Welcome to the nightmare.
You're going to like the taste.
No one really believes,
That you're gone without a trace.

A young woman screams, but I turn the volume up.

I use my right hand to drink what's left of my coffee. It's the kind you get at the gas stations. The ones that'll put you in diabetic comas. I love them.

There's a blonde man on his cell phone. He looks panicked, a little distraught. He's probably calling 911. It's not like anyone else has.

More people approach and circle the woman. None of them know what to do with her. They can't move her or touch her. You can hurt people in so many ways by trying to help them though. She gargling her blood like mouthwash. I keep waiting for her to spit it out and die already.

Cell phone guy just threw up all over the divider wall.

The young woman screams again after looking inside the minivan. I wouldn't blame her. Children are so innocent. That's why they pick on other children.

The snow is coming down harder. God is trying to clean this mess up as well as he can. I wonder if anyone is as cold as I am. My inside thermometer says ninety degrees Fahrenheit, but I might as well roll the windows down. I can feel myself getting sicker by the minute. Old man winter loves tearing up your lungs.

None of the lanes have moved, and I still have this front row seat to the spectacle.

Because I forgot why I was driving.

Some other cars have their windows rolled down. You can see people whispering "oh my god". Worshiping God isn't going to save the fat lady with the brown eyes, brown hair, tan skin, gap toothed, dead kids, and the broken windpipe.

Who still won't fucking die.

I turn up the volume to where I can feel the bass massage my seat. It feels good.

Welcome to the carousel.
You'll love to spin around.
Can you hear the children crying?
They scream without a sound.

Something's coming in the distance. I can hear the sirens. Finally. They can finally take them all away. The ambulance pulls up beside the crowd. Paramedics fly out from the back doors and the front ones. Out comes a stretcher. Out comes the oxygen masks and ventilators. Out comes the pain meds.

But it's too late.

The woman's eyes have rolled back. Her skin is getting pale. Soon the bleeding is going to stop.

The fire truck and police cruisers have arrived to assist as well. Now there has to be a whole crowd of people. At least twenty or thirty people. All different sizes, shapes, and colors.

The women with the broken windpipe is in a body bag and ready for her dirt nap. A group of firemen are using their axes to break out the other corpses of today. And all the people are shaking their heads in shame. Cell phone man throws up again, and the young woman from before is breaking out in hives.

Now they're staring all at me.

Why are they staring at me?

I reach for my coffee again, to give me that caffeine rush.

The firemen and policemen and innocent bystanders, and the lady with the broken windpipe, and all the dead children: they all stare at me, they all walk toward me.

Because I forgot why I was driving.

They're starting to yell, but I max out the volume. The bass booms and I can feel the glass breaking from the words of my CD's.

Welcome to the cell.
You'll listen to their secrets.
Pretend that you're dreaming.
And maybe you'll forget regret.

"Is he done?"

Because I forgot why I was driving.

Because I forgot why I was driving.

Because I forgot why I was driving.

Because I forgot why I was driving.

Because I forgot why I was driving.

Because I forgot why I was driving.

Because I forgot why I was driving.

Because I forgot why I was driving.

"I think he's good and gone man. Let's put him back up."

Because I forgot why I was driving!

Welcome to the nightmare.
Welcome to the carousel.
Welcome to the cell.

"All right."

BECAUSE I FORGOT I WAS DRIVING.

AND SHE'S STILL ALIVE!

Man Kills Family in Fatal Crash

By Stacy Harper

9:00 AM MST on Thursday, December 25, 2008

In regards to a horrific incident on rural highway 119, John Michael Matthews aged 40 years old, accidentally drove his car head on into a family of three, west of Boulder, Colorado. The single mother and two children, one aged four, the other six, were pronounced D.O.A. (dead on arrival). Matthews still remains in police custody for questioning about the incident. It is known that Matthews had been taking large amounts of Lithium for treatment against his Cycloid Psychosis, but it has been undetermined whether or not he was taking his medicine at the time of the accident.