Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Caitlin hunched forward over the steering wheel. She stared straight ahead as she drove.

“If you tell me ‘I knew that was going to happen,’ I’m going to punch you right in the eye,” she said.

I said nothing. In the rearview mirror, I saw the aftermath in miniature. The pale brown recliner lay shattered on the highway. It seemed to slump to one side, defeated. Its wooden frame poked from its leather covering like broken bones. Cars swerved into other lanes to avoid the obstacle. The mouths of their drivers were animated by silent, angry curses.

I stifled the irritable sigh that was welling up in my chest. I had offered my suggestions. I had expressed my doubts. But Caitlin didn’t think there was any danger of the heavy chair coming loose. She said it was good enough, no need to tie it down. But only twenty minutes later I heard the chair sliding around in the bed of the truck. Then I knew it was beyond saving.

We crested a hill, and the chair winked out of sight.