RTA Ch. 12: Always Steering

road trip to alberta 12 persuadeo.nl

The sound of the crash was terrible, but I am still driving.

My feet are on the pedals, the pedals are on the floor, the car is speeding and shaking down Atlantic Ave.

Yes, as I reopened my eyes (yes I blinked, sue me), I was still racing down the street.

Racing away from a collision behind me, I believe.

But I wasn’t in the crash.

Now, don’t hate me, because the truth is… I didn’t look back. Not really, not fully anyway.  I, you know, kind of whipped my head to the left. I looked in the mirror. I think I saw something, a yellow sedan spinning.

I’m not sure. But I didn’t stop.

Honestly, do I even have to? It’s not the scene of an accident I was involved in, right?

And if I don’t know what happened, how can I be blamed?

Besides, I want to tell you what I did see, which was a vision. A vision of the past that didn’t happen.

One where all this worked out.

I was there at the Endboss stream table. The green felt, the lavender walls, the bright lights. All the regs where in but all I could see was Burke. Burke the Pro. Beef Curtain Burke. His meaty hands were putting money into the pot. I looked down at my cards.

They make the nuts. There is a roar in my head. I’m going to beat him, the best. I fooled him, for goddamn once. There’s no cheating here, just winning.

I’m going to win.

Was it heads up? Heads-on? Did someone swerve and run into the Dominos?

Look, I have Mwin Stache on my tail. This is life or death.

And now, I don’t even think I have Mwin – where is he?

I need to put this out of my mind and I need distance from it.

I call. I flip over the nuts. But the vision is fading.

I feel Grandma’s breath behind me. I’m gonna slow down, grandma, hang on.

Then I see her hand motioning left. Ah. She’s okay, she pointing the way to the beach with her one digit signal.

A thumb for THUMS. The islands. Our family history. Safety?

You got it, Grandma.

Now I’m checking behind me. Checking all the time.

And Mwin is gone. No red caddy, no bald threat.

We pass over the 405. It’s peaceful, it’s like heaven. For the first time since morning, I see the sun, not near setting but late and westward and smiling on all of Los Angeles.

Did I win?

One other thing, because it may have seemed like I lost my cool back there. And I’m not going to lie, I may have heard the entire accident thing in my head.

You may be wondering how I kept my cool, my famous cool on stream. I flip over the nuts, right?

Those were beta blockers. You probably didn’t suspect it, but I do a lot of drugs.

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