an onion-flavored halo
I died next Thursday. Killed by a drunk driver on the way back from church. What she was doing drinking at church I have no idea. I never touched the stuff myself… church that is. The best impression of the crash I can give you is all the thoughts in my head, everything that made me who I was, were suddenly like an apple hitting the pavement after being dropped from a 10 story building. In slow motion. I was no longer looking out behind 2 eyes as much as trying to keep all of my consciousness together in one spot.
Funyuns. That was my first thought I think. So much for pearly gates. The way they assaulted your taste buds with salt and a vague oniony taste when you put the first one in your mouth. That trip to Chicago. Finding a small one and working my tongue threw the hole and wondering if that’s what the opposite of getting your tongue pierced felt like.
Were Smokey & the Bandit and Top Gun really that similar? Bandit and Maverick… Snowman and Goose. I was making my run to Chicago without a Goose. The rules were simple: 14 hours there, 14 hours back. No stops. I could only eat Funyuns. I could only drink beverages I’d never had before. I could only listen to Imogen Heap CDs… although Frou Frou was also allowed. I strayed from this policy near Cleveland and fate paid me back in spades by playing 3 songs in a row on the radio that reminded me of 3 people that I wish I’d never remember.
They are careful to say onion flavored rings. If you check the bag you clearly see that no onions were harmed in the making of Funyuns. Ferrous Sulfate didn’t get off as easily.
I guess I was a little disappointed not to have a quick recap of my life before I expired as I always sort of imagined I would. What I got instead was a small overview of what led the woman who hit me to the spot she hit me. From the moment we were both born, all of the million decisions that led the 2 of us to intersect on this spot years later played themselves out. The joy and pain and a lifetime of Funyun purchases.
In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel. Slide by the Goo Goo Dolls. Romeo & Juliet by Dire Straits. Individually I could have handled them but together they had me rubbing my Funyun-covered fingers against my eyes which did not help at all. Maybe it was the Maltodextrin.
I’ve got a long way to go… and a short time to get there. That reference will mean nothing to most people these days. Now I know how my Granddad felt when he would try to talk to me. Of all the things I’ll miss I think it’s the things that I never did I’ll miss the most. I had a friend who sang “all the lips I’ll never kiss”.
So what now? I’m supposed to do this without even a Snowman or a bag of Funyuns for the road?