Friday, November 6, 2009

How the Pervert Saved Her Life

Tonya was my best friend, and she died last year of the seventh cancer that finally killed her. Tough, tall, take no shit, she was a powerhouse of a woman.

Before she died, she told me this story. In the years before she found sobriety, she lived a wild life, and this is one of those unforgettable scenes from the insanity.

How the Pervert Saved Her Life

The Pontiac Le Mans was lean and low and she sang
swing low sweet chariot as she drove
to her self-appointed date with death.
In the dead of night, in a halo of lights around a bar,
a hitchhiker waited, odiously dressed
in overcoat and hat. She screeched to a halt,
threw open the door and said get in,
take a long last ride in my Le Mans.
He got in, misreading her intent.
She tore out of there, fishtailing.
There was no moon in the mountains.
The road was a tunnel writhing like a snake
and she sang swing low, my sweet chariot
thinking of the river, the swift, mean river
hidden in the darkness below the road,
and the Le Mans carrying her home to it.
She dreamed he slid his hand between her white thighs
and she screamed in outrage you pervert!
You sonofabitch! I’m out to kill myself, and now
I’m taking you with me! He cowered in his overcoat,
clinging to the door, as she swung the wheel
of the mighty Le Mans to and fro across the road
scraping the car with roadside shrubs.
You crazy bitch let me out, he hollered at her
but she hurled her fist into his face, connecting
with his nose. He sobbed out loud. He spit blood.
She laughed. The river was coming for to carry
her home, and he, the man with the wandering hand,
would see that she didn’t go alone.
Then please he said, soft as a lover, soft as a kitten,
and something broke in her, some wild and keening
sound fell silent, interrupted. Startled,
she pulled over, turned off the car. The Le Mans
fell silent. The black mountain above them
was silent. Below, the river swept on.
He flew from the car, slammed the door,
and vanished in the dark. She sat dumbfounded,
strangely happy the Le Mans was safe.
Carry me home, she said, and turned the key.


Steve E. said...

Now THERE is a "Turning Point!"

DreamDancer said...
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DreamDancer said...
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Tall Kay said...

What an amazing story. I could see the devil almost had her soul, and one word of kindness brought her back. It gave me goose bumps. A very powerful illustration. You should submit this one in a contest. (you would win):o)

the walking man said...

Oh hell yes. She sounds like my kind of friend. I really loved the way you tell her story Chris...absolutely compelling and a lesson for them who like the take no prisoners style of writing.

Hope you and the old man are connecting that line with a great week end.

Scott said...

wow... glad I found ya lol! What a wonderufl poem/story...

Brian Miller said...

that was amazing...interesting how the right people show up in our lives at just the right moment...and sometimes the most unlikely heroes. your style and pacing were incredible.

Madison said...

This should serve as a warning to hitchhikers. I'd like to hear about how his life changed. Wonderfully written. Thanks for sharing the poem on my blog. Another great example of your magical way with words. You are a blessing.

boots said...

Oh i love the way you wrote her story and what a story... to be so wild,crazy and self destructive that she scared a pervert into saying please. Hmmm wonder if he ever jumped in a car again?

So sorry you lost such a friend, and thankful that you shared a moment here so beautifully. She will always be with you.

Karen said...

Thank God for the man with the wandering hand and his whimper that saved her life. What an amazing story.

Good writing, Chris. I was engrossed.

lakeviewer said...

Oh, a twist, a turn, at the end of the road. You know how to take us for a ride.

Syd said...

All I can say is Whew.

Nessa said...

That's a very powerful tale.

Sunny Sunday #5 - Paper Sol