Father’s Day

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

-Opinionated Man

@smokendust

44.1

Why I don’t Ski

“So I want everyone to do the next step and place their feet out so their skis make a backward V,” the instructor said in the bored voice one would expect from someone that has given this lesson a million times. His eyes would occasionally drift to the slopes where everyone else was having fun.

I was still on step one. “What did he say? Something about Bacardi?,” I said as I worked to keep my skis steady. I was of the few humans, apparently, that thought people didn’t belong on long aluminum death sticks that shoot down mountains at the speed of a million miles an hour. And it wasn’t even a mountain we were on. I was skiing for the first time in Gatlinburg, TN on what could only be called a large hill. I realized this later in life when I moved to Denver, Colorado and learned what real mountains were.

“Ok so that’s it. The lesson is over and I want you all to try the bunny slopes first,” the instructor almost yelled as he hurried away to his next lesson or simply somewhere else.

My sister and I looked at each other and then headed towards the bunny slopes. They were easy and it was basically just a few yards of straight hill without the danger of being killed by the oncoming traffic I saw further down. We eventually got bored and I suggested moving to the next level up the “mountain.” Small decisions in life really do matter people.

Things were going great when I set off down the intermediate slope. Speed was good, no one had run into me, I was even able to look around and was starting to realize why people skied when things went drastically wrong. I started speeding up. That V shit that instructor was babbling about. Yea that shit didn’t work. It was like a roller coaster without brakes and suddenly all these people were around me. When did this hill get so crowded? I started moving to the right to maybe intentionally crash and call it quits when I didn’t crash. I started going back up the hill towards the bunny slopes. I heroically threw my body to the side to avoid any human casualties and laid there a minute thankful to be alive. I have never skied again.

Jason

-OM

@smokendust

44.1