There is nothing like the taste of freedom and it tastes like the cool night air on a highway in Tennessee outside of Nashville. I was doing 87 miles per hour and we were making great time on our way back home to M town. I was 19 and I had very little concern for the world.
I had brought Chris with me this trip because I was going to Cashville and I didn’t know the area well. I was meeting up with the girlfriend at the time and she had some friends that wanted to go out to the club for the night. Even though Memphis is about 3.5 hours from Nashville, we were game.
It hadn’t gone well.
She hated my new haircut. And I hadn’t told her before getting it cut before seeing her… because I wasn’t aware you were supposed to do that in life. That sounds like a lame fucking life.
There may have been a few reasons I tasted freedom that night as we made it as fast as we could back to Memphis. We were making good time as we passed Jackson and everything was going great. I remember music, Chris and I chatting, and then…
I woke to the smell of smoke.
“Cush… I think we had a wreck,” Chris half groaned from the passenger seat.
“What… the fuck… just happened!!!” I said slowly as I tried to shake myself awake. I realized then, I had fallen asleep at the wheel.
Chris removed his seatbelt and turned to me, “dude, we need to get out of this car. I smell something on fire!”
We quickly exited the vehicle and saw the damage immediately. My car had ripped almost five yards of guard rail out of the ground before hitting a bridge column. The car running over the metal rails had caught the grass on fire and my Ford Contour was dying a slow death that only Ford cars know before my eyes.
“Holy shit!” My parents are going to kill me…” I mumbled as a huge semi pulled up behind us.
A trucker exited the vehicle and hurried over to us. “You boys ok?” He said as he half looked at us and scanned the scene.
“We are good, thanks,” Chris replied as we watched another trucker rush up with a fire extinguisher. It was no use at this point, almost half my car was on fire.
“We all better back up some,” the trucker said. “I radioed in for some help already.”
“Thanks…” I responded as I watched my first car go up in smoke before my eyes.
I pulled out my phone to call my father at 4 am in the morning.
It was Father’s Day.
Jason C. Cushman