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Imagine yourself in a multiplex movie theater. Curiously, no walls separate the half-dozen theaters that form the multiplex. Miraculously, you are watching six different screens all at once, thoroughly understanding and enjoying every scene, word, character.

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OuttaTimeToday I’m running late for work. Usually I’m punctual.

Which is surprising, comments Screen Three, since most ADHD-Powered people lose time faster than an old watch.

From half a mile away, I see the manned-but-unmoving, baby-diaper-brown car stopped on a tiny spur of street. Its driver starts to pull out but, seeing me closing quickly on these icy West Virginia backroads, slaps brakes. Then, inexplicably, he guns the coughing motor once more. Engine belts protesting, long-bald tires spinning, his car finally kisses sun-soaked spots and blasts off.

Right in front of us, gasps Two.

Opting against smashing into the natural rock-and-mud wall on my right, I choose life and go left. Black ice, whistles Four. Surprise!

My buggy lurches and jerks, shifts and spits as it alternately finds dry and glassy blacktop. No longer in control of the car, I scan the rolling wreck. Its ashen-faced driver gawks once – fearfully – and stomps the gas pedal.

Amazed at the speed and duration of my own slide, I am calm until Three asks, Is that a 10-foot drop-off ahead? Replies Six, Time to bail, Black. And he counts off the feet left until my choice no longer matters.

Fifteen feet. Thick clay sucking at tires slows me. Eight feet. Could I pull this off? Three feet. Call me PlungeBob.

Cliff DivingBut we stop. Completely. Breath held, eyes closed, I listen. Wind whistles, metal squeaks, blood rushes. At precipice edge, we – car and human – teeter in delicate balance, slightly tipping upward, imploring Heaven; occasionally bowing down, fearing –

Hell-ooooo, Boss! snaps Six. Five minutes pass as you sit here, shaking. Hear that noise?

A car that once creaked now shifts. Not as in five-speed stickshift. As in entire car. And when did I open the door? Bitter wind swirls inside, further numbing a frozen heart. I lean back for my coat –


OK, a bit slower this time, I stretch one arm –


Black, states movie-buff Three, we favor risking The Big Chill over becoming one of the Legends of the Fall.

Silently bidding tiny car adieu, I jumpdiveleap, my inelegant motion grasping at life.

Faceplant! announces Five. Mud! I roll to my feet to watch the car’s death.

Nothing happening, says Two.

I’m, uh … well, actually a bit embarrassed, having expected flames and James Bond-type explosions. Gumbo-covered and very self-conscious, I look around to see who might be witnessing this. Impossibly, my eyes spot …

Joker and JunkerThe junker is back! applauds Four. That bloke – such a great guy!

The junker is gone! barks Six. That joker will die!

I roar as the driver, certain I survived, punches pedal and takes off.  But my heated rage does not defeat heavy shivers. I walk to the car, still softly rocking on the precipice edge, and look in at the back seat.

Wind so cold, so sharp, spouts Three. Coat so warm, so close.

A mighty logging truck rounds the curve, air brakes protesting as its powerful engine drops through gears. Big rig stopped, a huge man jumps out of his chuffing truck –

I notice he did not faceplant, smirks Three.

– and throws massive chains that nearly knock me down. “Wrap this ’round whatever’s secure on that little egg of yours – if anything is,” he laughs – “and I’ll pull you out.” Life-saving links secured, I give the high sign and marvel as his steel stallion escorts my unbroken yolk away from oblivion’s edge.

I thank him with a shaky but heartfelt grasp of his weathered hands. “Sure thing,” he says. “Anything else?”

In the wind, he has trouble hearing me, so he leans down and repeats my words to certify his comprehension. “Baby-diaper-brown,” he mimics. “Ramblin’ wreck. More rust than body. No plates. Hmm … could be almost everyone in these parts.” He straightens, voice and body determined. “But I run these roads often. We’ll see what we can find and try to even things up a bit.”

You in the rust bucket, growls Six, go ahead: sleep tight. The hunt is on.

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Blackie’s Weekly Wonders

Take Me Home, Country Roads