Large pulsating walls of sound have me curled up into a pleasant daze as I cruise down I-80 after work, the Bay Bridge towering on the horizon, when some P.O.S. Volvo cruises by me with a gut-wrenching twisted-devil of an engine failure sound that totally fucks up my headspace. "Jesus," I think, "time to take that puppy to the shop, ya think?"


The passenger-side window shatters into cascading crystals of glass that abrasively scrawl across my mental landscape, seriously stressing my evening highway-commute home. Ripped so from my daze, I find a Zen-like moment of clarity. "Fuck. The Volvo may be a piece of shit, but that's my car in its death throes." A quick survey of the status lights confirms this with a flashing Check Engine of death. "Now if I can only get it 10 miles back home to its nightly residence at the curb."

Yes, we chronic computer users suffer from the dire, ever-ready-to-pounce affliction known inimically as C.T.S. "Hello, my name is mcd and I'm a C.T.S. sufferer." Against my doctor's wishes and in the hopes of retaining my job, I drive a manual with just one hand, and a combination of either knee. "Yes, of course I can type with one-hand productively." I had amicably informed my boss. "No, I wouldn't think of driving in this condition." I had gravely informed my doctor. "I must continue in this fashion with this stanky Volvo-like splint and do everything one-handed for at least a month?" I ask myself incredulously.


The Lost Highway

Either the car or the massive dose of depression I acquired from being recently fired has just kicked into high-gear. "Wait, they can't fire me for having C.T.S. - Unemployment checks better be involved here. I saved their technical asses!" I manage this somewhat complete thought while brushing off chunks of glass from my sleeve, sure that this car is going to start burping flames at any moment.


The cellphone rings. It is her. Though we have only been seeing each other for about a week, she is my lifeline amidst the chaos. Suddenly time is slowing down. I could listen to the glass trill its tinkling for eternity. I down-shift into 3rd while signaling and exiting the highway; turn the volume on the stereo down. Simultaneously, I answer the call.

mcd : Hello, angel.

her : in British accent I am so sorry that you got fired, that is so fucked up... and wrong. That's terrible! Is there anything I can do to help?

mcd : You already have, luv. You already have.

After I kill the mobile I run my hand through my hair, light a cigarette, and pump up the Infected Mushroom as I make my way through my hometown smiling the entire time.

I'm off to see her for the night. It's been a hell of a day and life is good.