Me an’ Beth’d been arguing, just driving along behind the old Packard place, she was flapping her gums about some junk she’d seen on TV and I was yakking at her ‘bout some other stuff I’d read in a magazine.
We were having a great time giving each other shit and we were going at it pretty good.
She’d heard about make-up sex so she argued every chance she got.
Then, Old Man Packard comes out of his gate in his John Deere not even looking and everything went real slow.
I could see the tractor tyres coming up, felt my foot on the brake, heard Beth begin to shout then the hula girl on my dash just kinda floated up into the air as the car behind slammed right into the back of us as I hit the tractor side on.
I woke up in Nine Hills. The doctors and nurses came and went, told me to wait and rest a while and so I tried to make myself comfortable surrounded by all the blinking and the beeping.
There were painkillers and sleeping pills day after day, but every time I asked a question the staff just smiled that sad little smile my vet had when we put the dog down.
Then, like a week later, some guy comes and shakes me awake and tells me to grab my stuff. So I peel myself of the waiting room chair and go up into the ward and through all those bendy plastic doors until I’m standing next to Beth’s bed.
She looks banged up pretty good, black and blue and one arm in plaster. She’s sleeping they tell me and she has been since she came in, but she’s ok and I got nothing to worry about.
I pull a chair over and sit my sorry ass down. One bruise, two scrapes and seatbelt burn is all I have to show for sideswiping my wife into a tractor.
When she wakes up there’s going to be hell to pay and the thought of arguing with Beth again makes me feel damn good.
I put my head on her chest and listen to her breathe and below the gentle sighs of life I can hear her heart beating.