The tricky part was letting go. Calvin gripped the wheel tight and kept his eyes fixed on the double lines snaking from the darkness. He thought, "Well if this doesn't change everything, I don't know what will." But he had doubts. There seemed a basic but essential lesson he was missing.

Then he hit a deer and went headfirst into the exploding airbag. Everything went quiet.


Calvin's Dream

I am walking on a very thin wire above a circus. People are watching and pointing, and laughing at me, but I don't understand why or what I did. I am just trying to cross the wire. Then comes these guests of wind -- and I almost lose my balance. "What are you laughing at?" I shout down. I see someone who looks like Mom, but isn't Mom, and she laughing really hard and then says, "You look like you just got out of bed!" I don't understand and then suddenly the top of the tent is sliced open by a giant pair of scissors being held in a giant hand, and I think Oh shit it's God and that's when I wake up.


"Ugh...." Calvin moans. There's a bit of blood on his forehead, and a taste of it in his teeth. He looks out the window. There's darkness in every direction. No street lights, no lights in the sky but stars. He struggles and gets out of the car. It's wrecked. The hood is smashed up like a brick of clay against the tree. The deer is nowhere in sight.

A pair of headlights come streaming down the road. Calvin hobbles over, his leg killing him but not broken, he thinks. And starts waving. The car slows and stops.

"Need some help?"

"Oh God, yes. I think I just hit a deer."

"You alright?"

"Yeah, yeah I think so. But my car is not. And I don't get any cell phone service out here."

"Yeah, we are a ways away from any city. You heading to New York?"

"I was."

"Me too," Dr. Klein says. "Get in."

"It's okay, thanks for that offer. But I just need to use a phone, if that's okay, to call the police or something."

"How about this -- I'll drive you to the next rest stop, and call the police along the way. I don't like the thought of waiting out here in the dark." Calvin pauses and looks back. There are trees like the edge of a forest beyond the wreck.

"Actually... you know, I think I am going to stay. Thanks again for the offer."

"Well," Dr. Klein says, "at least use my phone." Calvin looks back at the trees again.

"No, thanks. I'll be okay."

Dr. Klein watches his face. "Okay then. Good luck."


"I can tell you are a man who has something on his mind."

"No, just -- no. Thanks, though." The car pulls away. Calvin, limping a little, walks down the thick tree line. He moves up and down, shining his cellphone light into the woods, and enters at the darkest spot.

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