It would have been nice to have an excuse for how he ended up there.It would have been better, he felt, as he hung there upside down,to be able to curse himself. To say
Why was I going so fast?
Why did I have that last drink?
Maybe I should have just pulled over and napped for a while.
Any of those would have helped him deal with this, he felt,because he could have placed some blame for this, or felt that whatwas going on was punishment for his stupidity or cruelty.Maybe it would have been enough if he had been coming fromsomeplace wrong, or going to someplace wrong.
Why didn’t I end theaffair earlier
, he could have berated himself, as his head felt like itwould explode from the blood slowly pooling in it.
Why was I going off to buy drugs
he could moan silently, quietly, while he tried to swallowand wet his throat but could not do so because as it turns out, gravityplays quite an important role in swallowing, or plays an important rolein preventing one from swallowing when one is hanging upside down ina twisted car wreck, held in place and pinned back by a seatbelt thathas locked, with one’s right arm pinned awkwardly and probablybroken, certainly numb, and long past the part of numbness or injurywhere it hurt, having gone through the flaring searing bolts-of-agony-shooting through one’s mind hours (days? Certainly not days? Days?)earlier.
Was it days?
He squinted in the dark. He watched where he knew thecellphone was, on the ceiling of the car, to his right. If his right armwas free, had movement and was free, he could have picked up thecellphone and called. It was laying on its side, in the dark, and unlesssomeone called and caused the panel to light up, he would not see thetime and date display that would tell him whether it was hours or daysthat he’d hung here.
If it was days, they probably would have eaten him by now.
But he had not been at fault. He was not coming from awhorehouse, or even a night so late at work that his wife and childrenwould be honestly and justifiably irate. He was not heading to or fromany place where he’d used illicit drugs. He was not engaged in anypursuit more dangerous or unwholesome than his trip to the grocerystore to get some milk, and, as it turned out, some doughnuts. They’dbeen out of milk, and it had been just past seven, and Jana had askedif he would mind going to get some milk, and he’d said of course not,