a short monologue for a winter evening

January 11, 2009

posted by caroline picard; written by rachel shine

backless-barstool

a short monologue for a winter evening

to be read sitting on a wooden barstool

in a large empty room with a microphone

in hand and a practice amp
It was 4:30 in the morning or later and snowing.  The ground was icy and I fell twice during the ride.  The conditions made me nervous and I began to expect strange things.  I didn’t know what, exactly, just strange things were about to happen.

The first happened when I passed a condo subdivision just north of Roosevelt.  I saw a woman in a nightgown or trench coat on her hand and knees feeling around on the ground for something in the middle of the condo’s parking lot.  A man stood above her holding a shovel on its end, watching.  I felt I’d peeked in on normalcy engaging in a snuff film.

And suddenly I began to think about death.  Would I be okay if I died on that ride home?  Am I okay enough with my life to accept it if I were hit and killed?  I began to feel that something harmful was about to happen.  I did know that I’d come out okay, but it was going to be shocking.  So I tried to prepare.

About a mile from home, going south on Loomis, I saw a pair of headlights heading north.  They were not approaching quickly, but they swerved into my lane.  With enough time, I got out of the way and watched the car smash into the front left corner of a minivan’s bumper  The crash was terrifying.  They couldn’t have been going more than 25, 30 mph, but the crunch, the sudden stop, and the lack of the sound of breaks shook me viscerally.  I tried to ride away.  But I wondered if anyone was hurt.  I should be available if they were.  So I stopped and looked back.  At this, or coincidently, they sped off, and left me in their conscious.

My heart was racing, my breathing deep and thick.  On every exhale, I released words saying It’s okay . . . It’s okay . . . It’s okay . . . the whole mile and a half home.  I imagined not making it, but I did.

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