Category: Mike Neis

State of Shock

Mar 31  |  Mike Neis

I dismount in front of a convenience store, thinking about how to tell my mom I will not be coming to dinner tonight. At that moment, a brass-colored Chevy Cavalier backs into my motorcycle. The force of the blow yanks my bike away from me and sends it flying backwards. My handlebar grip remains in my left hand and my bike winds up lying on the ground. Its front wheel is spinning. I look at my motorcycle and then at the car.

My eyes crease and my lips purse themselves tight. My breaths become rapid and high in my chest. I should be angry. Yes, I am angry! I look at my hand with the handlebar grip. I raise it high and throw it to the ground with all the force my arm can work into a tiny piece of molded plastic. It bounces away under a neighboring car.

The door of the Chevy flies open and out jumps a girl with auburn hair and eyes of shamrock green. Her hands are on the top of her head. They go to her open mouth. Then they go to the top of her head again.

“Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh God! I am so sorry! I am so so so sorry! Please be okay! That was so stupid of me! Please be okay! I am so so sorry! Please please, oh please be okay!”

My breath is no longer high in my chest. In fact, my breath is not there at all. Wisps of high clouds drift through a deep blue sky. Tiny stones cast shadows on worn pavement, and pink flowers bloom from a hibiscus at the far end of the lot. A mockingbird chirps, and a fat middle-aged man has stopped walking to his car to look at us. A light breeze carries the sweet scent of vanilla, lilac, and something I cannot identify. The girl’s eyes are filled with horror, her cheeks are flushed in a fluorescent shade of pink. Her mouth is perfect, round, and open. She is looking at me. She is transfixed with me.

This girl wants to know if I am okay and I have no idea. I do, however, have something to say. From a dark pool of shock, confusion, and hyper awareness, I tease out what is on my mind and consolidate it down to three words:

“Are you married?”