“Funny how the heart can be deceiving
More than just a couple times”
When traffic reached a final standstill at the crest of the ridge, the horns, the jostling, the fighting for lanes ended. We all drifted along, taking it all in like a tour of the wreckage, most of us piecing together what had transpired.
A lime green VW Rabbit idled along next to me; a tan, barefoot, pixie-cut blonde in torn cutoffs and a sun-bleached halter driving half cross-legged, staring out with the rest of us through John Lennon shades and steering with a tattooed thigh as she downshifted. Pink pounded from the box speaker belted into her passenger seat.
“Why do we fall in love so easy?
Even when it’s not right.”
The cordoned-off road was the morning after the party. It was the hangover, the splintered wood, and the busted knuckles; the regret and the lost friendships. The sum parts of two motorcycles were strewn like glitter and shattered crystal across twenty yards of asphalt, pockmarked by numbered yellow markers and orange circles drawn around stains that flashed an eerie green in the incessant strobing of pink and blue that corralled them in the weak light of dawn.
“Ever wonder that it might be ruined?
And does it make you wanna cry?”
At the base of a spattered Jersey barrier lay a ruined helmet, cleaved nearly in two and leaking, a lock of frizzy hair trailing and matted in the seeping puddle. A yellow vested officer hovered with camera in hand, snapping pictures of a green Converse high top, ladies size 8, which lay next to it.
“Where there is desire there is gonna be a flame…”
Further along the conveyor, a still mound beneath a space blanket. Further still, another, laying half beneath a smashed green pickup, the windshield crinkled tinfoil, cratered inward by a single impact.
“Where there is a flame someone’s gonna get burned…”
Ahead of all the emergency vehicles sat a single police cruiser containing a woman with a bandaged head, her hands behind her in the darkened, caged, back seat.
“Just because it burns doesn’t mean you’re gonna die…”
The lanes opened up again and traffic began to move. Barefoot Pixie floored the Rabbit in a staccato cloud of diesel smoke and started to pull away, Pink’s voice fading into the wind.
“You gotta get up and try, try, try”
A dozen yards more and the sun broke over the horizon, blazing the gold of a wheat field and casting a flare across the windshield. I leaned to turn the other visor flap and caught sight of two figures striding through the wheat. A young man and a girl with frizzy blond hair, leather jackets slung over their shoulders, holding hands and moving eastward up a rise.
A blaze of sunlight passed over them and they were gone.
“You gotta get up and try, try, try.”