nearly totaled by jmforceton

9 Jan

His car rolled to a slow stop next to the old barn board shack that served as the junkyard’s office. His massive black Mercedes sedan had gone unwashed for years. Instead of going inside he hesitated, turned, and walked behind the shack.

It was sunny and humid, no air moving, as he stepped with steady pace and a hint of a limp past derelict car after car. This was a well-worn path through the junkyard, and more so in his mind. His thoughts wandered to the wrecks’ past lives. Some were simply rusted intact hulks dead of old age. Others had been destroyed in obvious collisions, injured beyond repair. A few, barely touched, were damaged just enough that an insurance company was unwilling to pay for restoration, totaled because it would cost too much to prolong their useful lives. Some had faded bloodstains on dashboards and jagged windows. He was thinking about the kind of people that would have been in these used-up and wrecked machines.

One car, a thirty year-old yellow hardtop Corvette, had been peeled open as if with strong sharp claws. The fiberglass and metal sheared in straight lines nearly bisecting the passenger compartment, cutting the body in half. Most of its parts had been stripped away and quickly fused to other Corvettes years ago. This car had not been moved since it had been placed here. Grass and orange tiger lilies surrounded and merged with it.

He stopped, sat on the tailgate of a tricolor pickup truck, looked up into the sky, and closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them he was staring at the spot where the passenger’s black bucket seat once was. Without outward emotion, again he thought about the unexpected and amazing job offer, the raucous party that night at the Hyatt Regency, and walking up behind her as she talked to the stranger. Jealousy, anger, now sorrow. He thought about the two of them later that night in the new canary yellow Corvette. He closed his eyes again then got up, and more slowly this time, walked back to the office.

When he wanted to think about her, he often took this walk. He went there and not to the cemetery. She had never been alive in the cemetery.

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One Response to “nearly totaled by jmforceton”

  1. ingridfnl January 12, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    oh jon. i am so glad that you are back. you really nailed the pacing in this piece. and you made the descriptions of the junkyard so very, and unexpectedly, emotional.i really enjoyed reading it. every word.

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