(A short story, with visuals of country artist Dylan Jakobsen)
Along this desolate, one-lane highway, the car raced along, picking up speed as the road stretched straight ahead for as far as the naked eye could see. Miles and miles from the nearest ghost town, there wasn't another vehicle in sight. Just him and the open road, the last truck he'd passed was at least 45 minutes ago and the only other sign of life present was the reflective pupils of a pack of coyotes that scampered off the road as he approached. This wasn't your average road trip, this was a desperate attempt at saying goodbye, except he'd told no one. To him, in this moment, there was no going back.
The circumstances that got him to this point weren't really known to anyone, but that was typically how he liked it. His friends and family only knew his successes, too many to count at this point, but inside, he buried a secret that almost cost him his life and his career. There's no point in kicking him while he's down, but know that in his mind, he had no other option. The end of this road, was to be the end of his road. He'd lost everything, was given only a few years to live with a recent diagnosis that he'd told no one about, and rather than ride it out 'til the end, he knew where he had to go to check out early.
The race was on, even though he didn't know it yet. His vintage car collection was his pride and joy, having taken precedent over his own family at times, and now, this was all he had left. When he chose the car he'd take on his final drive, he picked the one that had been passed down to him from his grandfather. It needed more work than any of the others, but he'd been able to rebuild the engine and get it on the road, which was all he needed in this moment. The rest of his cars would be sold with his estate, but this one was sentimental and it was going to go with him. He straddled the middle of the road, the painted check marks slipping directly underneath the vehicle as he cranked it up as fast as it would go. Still miles from his final destination and he heard the pop from his tire. This was not in his plans. The car spun out of control and before he knew it, he blacked out.
Broken. There was no other way to describe him, than broken. Unfixable, unworthy, and it was with this mentality, that he awoke and found himself off the road, crunched between the steering wheel and his seat. Broken. The night crept in as fast as the daylight faded away and this old jalopy didn't keep the heat in worth a darn. The woodsy cabin which housed his personal gun collection was still at least 10 miles away and at this time of night, without any source of light, there was no way he was getting there. Not to mention, there was a bone sticking out of his leg, which obviously wasn't going to allow him to walk anywhere. So close, he thought, yet so far away he was. It's strange how easily he could have looked at this with a glass half full mindset, but with the intention he'd had of this all being over, the glass was most definitely half empty. Seconds blurred into minutes, which crept into hours. He made it through the night and as dawn came, he surveyed his surroundings. This was in all truthfulness, where you came to die. Only he'd come up short.
Even then, he thought to himself, he'd failed. Can't even get this right.
Days passed. The two bottles of water that had sat in this car for longer than he knew, ended up extending his life to the point that it could actually be saved. In the wilderness, where he'd found himself, there isn't much in terms of life sustaining nutrients. Water is scarce and so is food, but as each day passed, he realized that maybe he didn't want to go just yet. Only now, it seemed that his demise was only going to be prolonged. The water would run out and the coyotes which he'd passed miles back would start to hone in on his decaying body. What an awful way to go, he thought to himself. It was then, that he realized that he'd not even said a word in days and as he tried to scream in anger, no audible words came out. His voice was gone, a product of the dehydration that had started to set in.
Everything began to look like a blur in the distance, so when he thought he saw someone coming, the dementia had kicked in so much that he wouldn't have believed it anyways. For years, he wouldn't ever accept the help that was sitting right in front of his face. In all those years, all he'd seen success on his own, but he crashed and burned just as much. When assistance was there to get him out of his mess, he never accepted it, opting to "fix" it on his own, but never really doing the job. He had to reach his lowest and as he sat in that car, clinging to life that a few days prior, he didn't even want, help finally came.
In his foggy memory, he heard voices and later, he heard sirens. He'd been transported out and woke up in a hospital, vitals being pumped back into his veins. A man on horseback came upon his car, looked inside saw his body and immediately started pouring water down his throat. He took the crackers in his pack, crushed them up, and sprinkled them into his mouth, washing them down with more water. As he saw signs of life, the man miraculously got him onto the horse's back and he led them both out of the wilderness. Hours later, the ambulance was able to finish the transport and as close to peril as he'd been, life was being breathed back into him when he least expected it.
His shell was dismantled. His spirit was broken. He could no longer do it on his own, but his time here wasn't meant to be finished. Without knowing it, it was this moment that he needed more than ever. He needed to know that salvation didn't happen on his own. His safety was aided by someone else and not on his own accord, which he'd tried so miserably to achieve throughout his life up until this point. When he couldn't do anything on his own, he was shown rescue and it was this, that saved his future. In order to be repaired, he had to first be dismantled. Everything he knew had to be shaken down, stripped of what it was, and reinvigorated with a breath of life that he'd not yet had in his lungs up until this point.
Dismantle. Repair. #UntilWeMeetAgainProject Day 62.