Friday, February 19, 2010

Crash (Fiction) by Jennifer Brown

by Jennifer Brown

You are driving. You are driving the Blue Ridge parkway through high and hard walls of limestone, and then through birch and pine forest, dark and open. Night air full of ozone. It smells clean. You are awake and alive.

You are in love. You are in love with this night and the champagne and how they all laughed and loved you. You are a star. You are under the stars, you can see them when the trees open up from the road, and the joy of seeing them in a black sky unlit by city lights brings elation.

You are turning. You are turning right. And then left. And the leather fills the palms of your hands and you lift them and fill them again and again with steering wheel. They are full and you are full and you like feeling, feeling it in the palms of your hands.

You drive fast, like in a Mercedes Benz commercial. You drive fast to feel like how the marketers want you to think the driver of that Mercedes feels. Awake, awake. Alive, alive.

Caution. Caution, the sign commands you to take the hairpin at 25. But you, you know how to drive. You could drive race cars. Or German cars in commercials. A professional driver on a closed course, like it says on the bottom of the screen in tiny type.

You are turning off your brights. You are turning off your brights because of the truck. But the brights weren’t on. Everything goes all dark, but two lights. Truck horn sound filling the night.

Time hangs in the moment of the screaming metal while something like ecstasy that is really terror has frozen everything, the molecules barely moving, and it is so quiet you can hear them humming. Time hangs while the truck and the night sky and the birches and the limestone and the laughter and the bubbles in the champagne and the wheel in the palm and the turning, and the turning , to the right all come together.

And then white but with numberless colors, each matching a happiness like the gospel music at that wedding in New Orleans; the baby’s soft spot; Molly’s tail thump, thump, thumping; all of the first kisses; that time in college that you laughed so hard you wet your pants a little; the first spring day without a coat; flour on your hands after kneading bread dough; the sound the ocean makes at night in Cape May. All of these are colors that add up to make the brightest white light. And then.

Author bio:

Jennifer Brown is a writer, lawyer, and recovering actress who lives in Falls Church, Virginia. She is an MFA candidate at George Mason University.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this. I get so swept away by the words, swept up in the moment.