Monday, January 31, 2011


Nancy was constantly terrified of death, but this didn’t stop her from dying when she did. As always, on an errand to which someone else was driving, she kept the muscles in her shoulders tense and imagined what prevention she would utter if each mishap she imagined should come near to actual occurrence: watch that drifter; hasn’t rained in a while; that man’s in a hurry; that biker’s got the jitters. She noticed every wobbly hubcap and sometimes checked the lights for synchronicity—she had heard that in New Orleans not even the stoplights were back to normal, and God knows, times were getting tough in every old hill and borough, and it was bound to happen sooner or later. She had looked out the window up at the clear blue day and relaxed her guard for an instant to think of the pineapple she had eaten earlier that week—it was a good pineapple, sweet and juicy without too much of that stuff which stuck like brittle cloth threads in your teeth—when a truck swung out of the left turn lane on the opposite side and, without quite as much sound as you would expect from such a thing, took the whole passenger side clean off, Nancy with it.

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