The truck came up fast from my right, on the side where my peripheral vision is as bad as my hearing, both from a misfiring shotgun when I was a young man. But that’s another story altogether. It’s not wholly untrue to say that guns and the Allman Brothers ruined my hearing.
The jolt and blur that came next turned my windshield into a Tilt-A-Whirl carny ride. My flashlight was the first thing to go, flying right past my head and out the window. It was my best flashlight too. A handful of change launched out of the cubby on my dash into a spray of little president’s heads floating around in the cab. Safety glass did what it was manufactured to do, pelting me like translucent gravel blowing in a strong wind, bouncing in a shower of sparkles. It was kind of pretty if it hadn’t hurt so much.
When the whole thing was over, my truck was in the ditch, my fender punched in like that door from college. The one I had to pay $127 for. The one I drove a motorcycle into. And I got my money’s worth I’d like to think. You know how people get their name on a library when they give money to a school? Well, I carved my name on the top of that door, just like some rich man’s name chiseled on granite above ionic columns. Southern schools love columns.
Where was I? Oh yeah, in the ditch with a busted fender. The MoonPies I was taking to a party – some people bring beer, I bring MoonPies – were strewn all over the asphalt. That disturbed me right there.
When you mess with a man’s truck and his MoonPies, all in one altercation, you stir up some bad mojo where I come from. I fought the urge to yell at the fella who was wandering towards me, apologizing, asking if I was okay, mumbling something about a bush being in the way, he couldn’t see around it or something. I don’t know about a bush, but if I’m not mistaken, my truck was in his way just long enough for a decent lick and some bent metal.
I looked at him harshly. He paused a moment, leaned over and started picking up my scattered MoonPies. We collected them all without talking and dropped them in my cab through the shattered window. I looked at him. Felt bad. Felt sorry for him. He looked like I did several years ago when I hit a guy who was headed to the lake to go fishing. I’ve been there. And mine was worse. Keeping somebody from a fishing tournament is just flat wrong. As I thought about it, my anger eased on down the road.
“Here,” I said. “Take some MoonPies. Make you feel better about your truck.”
He didn’t want to, but I insisted. We did the insurance dance, traded numbers, and I pried out my fender enough to drive. He got in his bloody-nosed truck and drove away, his engine hissing, the sound of belts flapping under the hood.
I missed the party. I have no idea what he missed. But somewhere, hopefully he’s enjoying a MoonPie or two. I guess that’s how the world keeps going around most of the time. People cross paths, mess up their trucks and somebody eats a MoonPie.