Sound of a revved engine. Once touting a broken leg and ego, and only with an underdog tenacity; the All-American aggressor.
But that is his sport. He is a product of his environment. Emulating those from a by-gone era, that of stock car racing; just after the moonshine. We say Nature vs. Nurture.
Spawn child of backcountry man-proof, unlawfulness. Now, immensely corporate, while urbane enjoyable; leaving the yard in leathers soaked in champagne, ladies follow with fake tits and platinum blond hair, arm in arm, just for the camera. Give the king his fucking crown. The Paparazzi begs for a kiss, PLEASE, JUST ONE! -The women, the fast cars, the media, glitz and glam and everything right. -Don’t let them down.
Then a black hole opens up above the tracks overhead. You stay, but everything else is sucked up and pulled apart, piece by piece. Paramedics run with arms out like they are in shock, the worst feeling. No human being can fix this.
I remember Sundays it brought the family together, over beans and ham. Grandma would scold. We had come from scripture and hymns- that proud. And he had it all. Grandpa was there, Dad was there, Grandma was there, but they are all gone now. He thought-
I have this one,
It won’t get away,
I was once that young boy he thought, again. His heart raced. Quick to wag finger a gesture of aggression, just as his idols; pedals and metal frames, the sort, gas-brake exchange. An empire built around him, his panache, his disdain, one couldn’t miss the complexion gave pink on his face under black mane.
Was it an act? It happened all the same. He sits staring at his reflection marble pillars alone. Sitting, idle, staring at the rearview mirror, breaking it off with gloved hand. Splintered mirror bloody hands. This is incredible. Let’s take it back.
No more bullshitting about fucking off.
A moment later you can’t take back that moment. This bad moment defining a lifetime; forget everything good you’ve ever done. Tears for anyone with empathy enough to live through death (on both sides; the living and the dead alike), everyone, tears as big as October Cabbages, even in June, July, and August.
Could he get behind that wheel again? Drive it backwards like Ferris Bueller’s Day off? It never happened. Cameron kicks it through the floor to ceiling window, though; suspense thriller in this classic feel-good- Spoiler Alter.
A life surrounded by cars, even when biking. So many thoughts, nothing is right. All is uncertain, that is life. -Pulling to the side, at a loss. -Looking back, cameras on you, unable to move.
The young, the hit-baiters, media-fucks, those seeking views for viewpoints print unwarranted opinions which fall flat against fact. Yeah, I said that.
There remain two events which are objective: One, someone has succumbed, died, passed (whatever euphemism you choose to use with an –ed suffix), and two, someone will be blamed, even if by accident, even with good intentions.
Stewart Anthony will forever be frame-by-frame a (that word), stigmatized. Judgment passed, we sit and relax, but he sits and has to live with his life, as it is, as another life is lost, try and wash your hands Macbeth. Screams couldn’t describe despair.
No one is to blame. It’s funny how things change, though this change is not funny. No one forced anyone to race for the checkered. An argument before you are breathless, never to regain; one foot in front of a speeding car, reckless. Watching eyes made to retain. And one wonders what one was thinking. One just has to think, what did he see?
And in an age of technology, ubiquitous cameras, camera phones, and high-tech recording devices, nothing is private, not even death, not even grief, not even accusations- these things we must live with, at least…
The announcers almost pulled it off gracefully, but I could imagine them seeing only one image. I saw it over and over again, back and forth, in slow-motion, from one angle as most. We needed another angle. I agree. I thought it could be a life motto. A new perspective on everything, and we lose that one thing. But what if we had it still, would it change anything?
An interlude: Not specifically for this piece: I could never live with that. I will never consent to go to war, to kill, to malign. I will never change someone’s course. People do what they want. My religion is peace.
They were set out on that road, and they crossed paths. That is all that happened. Those are the only facts. Stewart Anthony must, for indefinite lengths of time live with this surreal reality, likened to the Twilight Zone. You do not sleep, you do not eat, and you do not exist without thinking about certain things.
Those involved will have night-terrors. Wake up sweating, that thing is coming to get you, it hides in the shadows and behind doors. No face, long fingers. Unnamable offenses can only describe. It is silent when you scream, and then you wake up never wanting to go back. Black bags under eyes reflect that, as if they’ve been packed.
What we can do now is show respect. Stewart Anthony, now, it is you we will never forget, and for what- such is life. I dream of days before, talking on the phone, not knowing. All are innocent, painted evil by confused people.
The missing piece of the puzzle is lost, puzzling us.