Where were we…
After swerving to dodge a herd of deer on a back road, our nameless every-man protagonist has run off the road. Crashed into a tree. Rolled down a steep embankment. Coming to rest, driver’s side down, in a creek bed. Effectively damning the creek and causing the car to slowly fill with cold murky water. Severely injured, trapped inside (left arm is pinned between car door and creek bottom) consciousness and continued existence pending and contemplated — (see last week’s article).
“Do nothing secretly; for time sees and hears all things and discloses all.” ~ Sophocles
Reawakening as tepid liquid spews and spatters from his mouth. Coughing, gagging, retching up stagnant creek water in the fading dashboard light. Drowning in a car crash… he can see the memes now.
His cell, now dead, floats and swirls lazily about nearby. He wonders if 911 will trace his failed call. A call that wouldn’t have failed had he not wasted the last precious 2% of power on removing the busty, scantily clad, anime bunny girl from his welcome screen. At least there’s that. If the police do show and retrieve his phone, he’ll be spared that embarrassment. But what about the other things on his phone?
“The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep.” ~ Edgar Watson Howe.
Recharge, click the camera icon, enter the photo menu, folder labeled MANGA, scroll… it could be… might be done. A groan of exasperation escapes him. This followed by a jolt of pain that racks his entire body… mustn’t scream, must not pass out… no not yet.
As the pain subsides, he struggles to remain coherent, and a terrifying thought strikes him. What if… what if he doesn’t make it? They’d be sure to search through his phone then. And never mind the police, what about anyone else like his family? He reaches for the phone. Maybe he can break it or something, then stops as horrors dawns… what about everything else?
“To keep your secrets is wisdom; but to expect others to keep them is folly.” ~ William Downey
In his home office, on his personal PC, in a desktop file labeled Anime Art… not password protected. What if Vivian or the kids search through it? Looking for remembrances of him, or just curiosity.
It’s mostly innocent artwork from his favorite Manga series. But what will his spouse of 13 years and pre-teen kids think of him? “I can’t die here… not like this… not with that left behind,” And with that thought promises to delete it all… if he survives. Then horror re-dawns and quadruples as he considers… the shoe box.
“How can we expect another to keep our secret if we cannot keep it ourselves.” ~ François de La Rochefoucauld.
On his side of their shared closet. Tucked into the back of the top right-hand corner. There rests the old Reebok box he’s had since high school. The shoe box filled with memories. Love letters, Valentines, commemorative trinkets and photos (none too risqué) reminiscences of all his relationships. From back to the time when size 10 would still fit.
He hasn’t looked into that box for years. Why hadn’t he gotten rid of it? Prideful ego, fond reminiscence, simply forgotten … he doesn’t know. All he knows is that if Viv finds it, he may break her heart postmortem. As his thoughts race a wave of vertigo washes over him. The pain has stopped, and he assumes that’s not good. And then the darkness takes him.
“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” ~ Benjamin Franklin.
He stands before their shared closet. His left arm in a sling, the pain meds are working wonders for the rest of him. Reaching up and in he retrieves the old shoe box. He should just throw it out… but first he removes the lid and the memories flood out. After a time and a bit of shuffling through, he replaces the lid and slides the box back into its place in the back of the closet.
We conclude this tale with no profound conclusion nor epiphany. Just food for thought. For any individual who reads and comprehends the reality of human nature.
I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected].
Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused! See ya.