3:27 PM 3/17/2013
Early sunlight plays in patches across the French doors and glitters on the surface of the pool. Leaves dot the water, a palate of undulating reds and yellows. David slumps alone on the slate patio, staring into another morning. A plaid wool blanket drapes his legs; his arms lie in his lap, palms up, catheter bag hanging heavy with yellow by his side, the tube through which he now directs his life angled close to his lips.
Rubber wheels strain against the slant of the walkway as he closes his eyes against the new day and pictures once again, in slow motion, the silver hood of the BMW crumpling toward him, the screams of his wife, his girls as the eighteen wheeler bites into the passenger side, watches again as delicate bones erupt in jagged peaks through the thin skin of his life. The soft leather interior lies spattered with gore, the air smokes, metal parts tick down to oblivion. It's this final silence that does him in.
An oak leaf streaked the color of blood brushes his cheek as it twirls in death to the earthen floor. David tilts his head, blows into the tube, and steers his chair toward the deep end. Wheel tracks appear behind him, then vanish into the leaf strewn October lawn.
As the chair nears the edge, his flannel sleeve catches in a gust of wind and snarls between the brake and wheel. The day nurse finds him there, chair tilted toward heaven, and wheels him
through the sunlit day toward sleep.