Melanie Gapany

– Editorial & Administrative Support –




The truck cut me off so quickly I don’t even remember reacting. Something instinctual in me turned the wheel. It was too sharp.

As soon as the car went airborne, the first thing I felt was a strange sense of serenity. They always tell you time slows down when these things happen, and for once, they are right. Time slows down, sounds cease, and everything is surrounded in weightlessness. I knew it was rolling onto its side because I felt my hair shifting across my back. Strand by strand the whole mass of made it’s way towards my drivers’ side window, and I turned my head to the glass.

I wasn’t moving very fast, but the grass through the pane was going in fast forward in relation to everything else, and I realized the car was on it’s side, but still floating. A tampon hit my cheek and I turned to face the passenger seat. As I watched everything I owned spill out of my purse and past my face, I thought about how trivial everything I had done to get that car was about to suddenly become, how trivial every time I had worked for a thing, for a material end result had become. I watched my lighter fall past my face and thought “why did I spend all these years smoking”. Paperclips, pens, candies taken from Chinese restaurants, more tampons fell, a notebook of crap I had written lately, the only loss that would really matter.

It was then that I looked forward, past my windshield and to the lake. By then, it felt like I had been floating for ages, like I had lived lifetimes in midair.

When the car landed just short of the lake, my first thought was “get out”. Looking around me I quickly figured there was no opening my door, since the car was sitting on it. The passenger door proved too heavy to push up. Then my eyes met the moonroof. As I raised my hand to the button, I was praying to a God I would otherwise not believe in to have preserved the mechanical integrity of my car’s electrical system.

I pushed the button. The roof slid open.

In less than a second I climbed out of the car, staring at it as it balanced precariously on its side, not quite flipped as much as tilted. The trunk had come open, and amongst the thousand tampons strewed from the Costco package I had recently picked up from Mom were all my things. I picked up as much as I could until the fire department arrived.