My last few entries have been about the drudgery of August, and fuck, it’s still August, I have nothing new to say.  This past week I took a whirlwind trip to Rockford, Illinois to visit Dani, who is studying abroad in St. Petersburg for fall semester.  This is pretty serious business, and the two-day trip was quite frenzied and fun.  We nearly got killed on the way back thanks to the epic storm systems that have been moving through the Midwest recently.  Dubbed Faye after Faye Kicknosway, who once spent nine days trapped in a collapsed apartment building after an earthquake (she said she spent her time cutting her hair with “a little beak”), and whose collected works arrived on our porch the same day we returned, was a torrential downpour that followed us eastward across Illinois, Indiana and finally caught up with us in Michigan again.

It seems to me that no vacation adventure is complete without at least one near-death experience.  All the truly fun trips I’ve taken this year have involved something that almost killed me: substance abuse, or semi trucks in a torrential downpour, or I don’t know, whatever it was that last almost killed me.  We were driving on I-94, and I had become used to the storm enough to drive a healthy 65 miles per hour, when some asshole in a pickup towing a car cuts off the semi I’m passing.  Literally, my life flashed before my eyes – the semi braked hard and swerved.  Had he braked a little harder, I’m sure we would have been swept off the road by a lovely jackknife maneuver.  Thank god.

Something about car crashes is really unappealing to me, and I don’t mean the death part.  There are many kinds of death I find – maybe not truly appealing, but more – appealing than a car crash.  There is something mundane and sad about it.  It’s not as though other kinds of death are not sad, it’s just that it’s a fucking car crash.  Plane crashes are epic.  Shootings are tragic.  Drugs overdoses are kind of stupid, also pretty tragic (especially when the victim is young and starry-eyed).  But car crashes, they’re one of those things that happens.  I would really rather not do anything so mundane as die in a car crash, so I have a particular fear of them.  (Upon reflection this sounds a little pathological.)  Everything else – well, everything else a bigger public deal would be made of it, I guess.  I’m gripped by vanity, even in death.

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