Dedicated to Isaac Panzarella
and Charlene Scozzafava
by Christopher J. Bradley
4/8/00 4:08:26 AM
It was too real that night
the night we left the dance
the first night I ever thought
I was going to make things happen.
We had plans to get hammered.
It was if the gymnasium had been lacking
in all of its fanfare that year
except for the fact that I had danced with a girl.
She had short curling hair
Together we had learned to speak and write Japanese
Doitachmaschte and Sayonara.
Hiragana and Katakana.
She wore a black dress
with a white rose wrist corsage.
I wore my white suit with black pinstripes
and her floral adornment.
They played one or two songs that defined the time
Information Society - Pure Energy
And we danced to everything slow
Titles I can't remember : Except for Stairway to Heaven.
So we left together
and climbed into Mom and Dad's red wagon
and slowly pulled onto Portage.
I took Ferry and decided to follow 16th back to Pine.
That's when the laughing started
A slightly intoxicated laughter broke through the back
And as I turned to see what was happening
The shadows crept over the stop sign at Walnut.
So there we were
20 feet from clear of the other side of Walnut
And my foot finally hit the brake pedal.
The car stopped.
Terrors of twisted limbs massacred my neurons as I saw the light
Twin beams flashing toward us at 40 miles an hour.
My foot wouldn't move.
And then Fender contacted Axle.
Everything was in motion
Welcome to the Jungle
But somehow we just bounced left and stopped
And everyone was still uniform.
There were flashing lights before I could open my door
A man with a hat a flashlight and a Gun
I got out and talked with him
I had checked to make sure we were all ok.
It was a man who lived on my paper route
He asked me if I had been drinking
I said no
And he wrote me a ticket for failing to yield right of way.
The other driver had been speeding
and he had been following her
Just our luck right?
The Axle absorbed the massive force of the other car
but it cost $800.00 to repair
I had to work it off that year
And Charlene seemed to vanish after Rob and Karen helped me get her home.
Ike and I rode the bus for a couple of weeks
I'm still not sure I'm over it though
It's not exactly like bumping into that first telephone pole
It's something a little closer to Falling "off target" in Skydiver.