Today's story was a challenge for me. My random pick of a person to meet happened in an elevator. Cliché' I know! When I asked him to tell me something about himself that no one knows, without hesitation he stated, "I have a traumatic brain injury!" GULP! Those of you who know my life story know how close this hits to home. I'm had a hard time getting fiction on this one as my own fathers story keeps lending its details. The divine has a very quirky sense of humor sometimes. Just like my dad!
I had to pull from my deepest creative space, a story that is not my own, yet the one the divine desires me to tell. It was odd that as I struggled with this today, I parked next to THIS truck! The one my grandfather, my father's father owned. The truck we played in most of our childhood. I know its deepest secrets well. Much to my pleasure, this story flowed easily once I embarked on the journey. Please share in my fear and accomplishments of day 2 #500wordsaday
I am totally enjoying being out of my comfort zone right now!
It was a stormy day in Glendale, California. He knew in his mind that this was unusual but he wasn't quite sure why. He sat in the front seat of his 3600 Chevy wondering why it all felt familiar yet so far away from where he knew he was supposed to be. He felt his heart beat a little faster as he placed his hand on the gear shift that went from the floorboard to his clammy grip. The ball at the top of the shift said he had 4 directions he could go but his hand remained stiff as he didn't know which number to choose. He felt as if he was making life decisions but that wasn't entirely true. He didn't know the truth of anything anymore. He didn't even really know how he got to be sitting where he was yet he knew he just arrived.
Like flashes of the lightening in the sky, so too did he feel a flash in memory. He knew he recollected every single flash that came through his mind but they were moving too fast for his mind to grasp the facts. The thunder would happen, he would jolt from a thought and then as the lightening hit so did his next memory. He couldn't grasp why he was so confused. The rain began to pour on the shattered windshield just as the tears of frustration began to stream down his face. Again, he knew the emotion was unclear but it felt so good to let it flow. It did not matter. He just had to let it out. As a cleansing but it was mostly out of his control. He didn't feel sad, but the tears kept coming. He was frustrated, yes, but he knew better than to cry from frustration. His present cognition said stop but his primal brain allowed it to continue.
He flashed to the moment of the red light turning green, he pressed the accelerator to cross the intersection like a school boy in all his glory of his first peel out. He felt the joy of the rubber meeting the street as he popped the clutch of his suped up Chevy. He was proud of his truck. He would most likely treat it better than he treated most of his girlfriends. His memory goes blank. Frustration returns. "Why can't I remember the smell of the rubber. Why can't I remember what happens next?"
He returns to his present moment, only now his hands are clenching the steering wheel that is slightly cocked off to the right as though that were the direction he was heading. The driver's door is sawed open by some animal of a metal beast that exposed the interior like an annoying savage exposes its prey. "Who or what would do that to such a beautiful truck?" he thought.
No one really talks about what happened. No one wants to relive the horror of his condition. He reaches his hand up to the scar on the side of his head, now overgrown with hair but separated by the details of his demise. His right hand cannot reach that far so he must use his left. And actually, his whole right side is a bit weak and lame. This is most maddening as he use to be right handed. How will he ever shift the gear of his beloved again. He finds it difficult to focus on the scar dug into his head and the desire to work his right hand. He struggles to raise his right hand off the steering wheel but needs to use his other hand to lift it. Too much going on. He surrenders, relaxes back into the blood stained leather upholstery. Defeated, he allows his head to turn to the left, gazing through the claws of the metal shrapnel. Tears roll down his face once more, the storm continues, the thunder roars, the lightening flashes before him and he remembers. Just one more piece.
He grabbed the faded pinkish, red oil cloth that was stuffed low into the floor board near the end of the gear shift and wiped his tears. He looked up into the blotted rear view mirror to catch his gaze and saw the oil from the vintage truck smeared across his high cheekbones. He thought to himself, I am a warrior!