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Page 14




self-destruction. Omnipresent in my mind was the fact that my time on earth was limited, and much of that time was a torturous struggle with Cystic Fibrosis. I took chances in that car that few sane people would take. When I bought it, my grandfather predicted that I would die in it. He was wrong, but not far off.

When I bought the car I had been influenced by Influenced by Brent Palmer, a friend of mine who I worked with, and who happened to own a Porsche- I decided that the key to life was having a nice car. An acquaintance was selling his five liter Mustang GT and made it easy for me to purchase it. From the first day I sat in the driver seat of that vehicle, I knew it was going to mean trouble. It went way too fast.

The first thing I did when I bought the car was drive seven blocks to Shawn Mrowiecís house, where I laid a forty foot patch of rubber on the street in front of his house. I broke one hundred miles an hour dozens of times in that thing and once hit over one hundred and forty five. I loved to race that thing, and donít know how many times that I narrowly escaped death.

There are very few nights in a personís life that he can say he actually remembers vividly. The night that the dump truck incident occurred is a night that stands out in my mind and will forever. Itís one small moment in time that changed my life irrevocably. I often think of an alternative universe and how my life would have continued if I had not hit that dump truck. There is no way that I could say for sure, but I can speculate that if I hadnít hit that dump truck I would be making about fifty or sixty thousand dollars a year, would own a home, would be married to Heather, and be a successful business man.

In a way, my grandfather was involved. I had borrowed a set of his tools and taken them down to work that morning in Arlington. That evening I had forgotten to bring them back. My Grandfather told me that if I didnít go down and get them, and bring them back he was going to kick me out of the house. I felt like he was blowing things out of proportion, but I climbed back into my Mustang and went to pick them up.

The road was wet, and the sun had long receded behind the tree line. I was driving back from Arlington Airport, tool box safely ensconced in the rear foot well. The time was officially 7:21. I was doing about fifteen miles an hour behind a ponderous gray dump truck. There werenít any oncoming headlights, so I flipped my blinker on and started to pass the truck.

It was about this time, that the dump truck began to drift across the left hand lane in front of me, and onto the far shoulder of the road. I was a little confused by this sudden maneuver, and there had been no brakes or blinkers to signal it. Thinking, he was planning to park on the shoulder, I moved back into the right hand lane without slackening my speed and gunned the engine to about fifty, so I could get past this elephantine road hazard.

Suddenly the dump truck veered in front of me to make a right hand turn. Adrenaline surged through me as I slammed my foot down on the brake pedal. The side of the truck loomed ahead of meĖ gray ribbed side wall, and a decal right below it emblazoned with the Washington State seal of approval; 12,000 lbs. gross. Roxette churned out a bass heavy dance rhythm on the tape deck. I impacted.



IV

Street Racing and Satan in Sunday School


My body strained against the shoulder strap of my seatbelt as the Mustang accordioned into the dump truck. The heavy ported speaker box, that took up the majority of storage room in my hatch-back, took to flight and slammed into the back of my head, pushing my skull through the windshield. The steering column punched into my stomach and bent from the impact of my body against it. Glass shattered and metal twisted as the dump truck dragged my car unwillingly along with it.

My Seatbelt held, barely. If it hadnít, I would have been splattered on the side of the dump truck. Somehow, I maintained consciousness and when the dump truck came to a grinding halt, I managed to climb from the tangled wreckage of what was formerly my car. Blood streamed down my face from a massive gash over my right eye.


 
     
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