Sweet Dreams Massacre: Another Fragment

When I first met Elvis we were standing, half-dazed, by the smoldering wreckage of a fire truck, our faces caked with blood and dappled with dirt. We both refrained from obvious jokes, I’m not sure why. Moon was there, too; she’d been riding with me in my car. All three of us were witness. To what, I’m not sure. It was a beautiful day and we stood in the median, the grassy valley in the middle of the highway, the angry incongruous form of a fire truck rising up above us. Smoking. We didn’t have much to say. Moon and I held hands and Elvis said how he somehow had a feeling Moon and he would never completely part ways.

There was only one fatality, a forty-seven year-old woman named Wanda White; this relative innocuousness for everyone not named Wanda White in spite of the tremendous violence and energy of the pileup, in spite of the visual impressiveness, the mechanical destructiveness of the act. Sixteen vehicles, all of them totaled, some mangled beyond recognition of being automobiles; inanimate, arcane heaps, it seemed, deposited on the highway by some higher power.

How it started, they never figured out. I talked to one cop who said it was just the dictates of chaos theory, it was something that simply happened, probably started by some kid on a bike in Sao Paulo; ten years and you’re bound to see an accident like this one, he said, if not more.

Elvis, Moon and I watched as pictures were taken and wreckage was cleared and surface wounds were tended to.

We were all suspicious, I think, of black magic.