Craig Davis and I are traveling aboard his 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee on a winding, ice laden one lane road in the mountains of Chattanooga, TN. Jagged cliff walls encompass our port side, and a 300+ foot drop to sure death ensues if we make an erroneous starboard movement. I’m not exactly sure what our destination is, but we are obviously making an expeditious effort to arrive. Craig’s driving rarely induces anxiety in me, but at any second, unintentional micturition may occur in the passenger seat.
I suggest a reduction in velocity, “Slow down, man!” but Captain Craig remains obdurate. As we approach a ninety or so degree curve, I feel the angle of his Daimler-Chrysler vehicle shift perpendicular to the path on a patch of solid water. Craig makes an excellent correction for this mishap, and we are again parallel with the angry rock face.
My nerve endings finally return under my epidermis. When all seems well, Craig decides to reach in the back seat for a handful of his mother’s famous Chex mix. Unsuccessful, he now turns his sight to the rear of the vehicle. I feel the passenger’s side tires drop from the road, followed by the driver’s side tires.
Now falling freely, Craig and I look at each other. “Well, this is it buddy, it has been the ride of a lifetime” I proclaim. “Yes, it has! See you on the other side, brother!” Craig responds.
It feels as if we are falling in slow motion. As we hit the bottom of the cliff, I feel absolutely nothing. No pain, no impact. I simply transitioned from one form of existence to another. I can’t at all begin to explain what happens now.
We exit the vehicle without opening any doors, without crawling through the now shattered glass. We begin walking towards the bottom of the mountain, to the city. I see no visible signs of injury on Craig, and none on myself. Subconsciously, I recognize that I’m neither alive nor deceased.
As we arrive to town, we walk to Chris Davis’ apartment. Walking through the living room was more treacherous than anything we had endured on the mountain. Obstacles littering the living room included exercise equipment, bicycles, and mountain climbing devices. We eventually make it to Chris’ room, where he is standing, almost as if anticipating our arrival. He looks at us and inquires, “What in the hell are y’all doing here? Fuck off.” Without skipping a beat, Craig turns aboutface, and I follow him back out.
We begin a journey on a road I am unfamiliar with. The sun has set, and we see headlights in the distance. The car is speeding relentlessly towards us. We dive synchronously headfirst into a ditch to avoid being struck. Craig then insists that we move forward on our journey, but I am reluctant since neither of us knows where we are. He leaves, and I reach into my pocket to retrieve my iPhone. My headphones are still plugged in, but the plug was bent badly in the accident. I attempt to remove the plug from the jack, but it seems to be jammed inside. I pull a little harder, and as I do, half of the glass casing shatters and falls off in my hands.
I receive a text message from a girl, but her name is unfamiliar. I try to reply, but because of my phone’s new inoperable state, I am unsuccessful. She asked me to meet her at her house.
I arrive at her house, where she is the eldest of seven beautiful sisters. I know somehow that this is my girlfriend, and that she is carrying my unborn child. Her father invites me to a scuba diving quest in an underwater cave. We explore the cave for a bit, then proceed back to their home. As I begin showering for dinner, her younger sister enters the bathroom. She makes a sexual advance toward me, to which I rebut. She is gone as quickly as she appeared.
Dinner is over, and my girlfriend and I get in my truck and drive to the general store. We pull into the parking lot, and Matt Milby is standing beside his truck. He walks up to my window, and we began chatting. He asks who the girl is, and for my life, I cannot recall her name. I act as if I can’t hear his question. I again pull out my phone, searching for her name in her text message from earlier. My screen is so disfigured, I can’t read anything. Matt finally introduces himself, and she replies simply “It is so nice to meet you!”
I still have no clue what this girl’s name is, but I have the utmost feeling of adoration for her. So strange! I know at one point her name was the only word I could say. Now, though, no matter how hard I try, her name is no where to be found. I am shattered, heartbroken and homeless by my own doing.
I look once more at my phone, discovering it in pristine condition. I still cannot remember her name.
“Slow down, man!” I proclaim to Craig.