You woke up that morning thinking about nothing but work. Your second day at a local service station awaited you, and you were excited as hell. You had always wanted a job working on cars, and after washing dishes this was a big step up.

In the middle of the day an out-of-service police car pulls up to island 3. You were pumping gas while the kid who was out there all morning ran across the street to the deli for some sandwiches. The cop behind the wheel mentioned coolant. That was good, a chance to show some prowess under the hood. You got it open and swiveled your head to look at the coolant bottle, which, it turned out, wa an empty RC Cola can. Empty. You looked at the radiator cap, emblazed with the words "DO NOT OPEN WHILE HOT". The cap wasn't that hot. You opened it and nothing happened-immediately. Something under the hood rumbled. The coolant in the radiator, released from its captive pressure of 12psi, came to a boil and rocketed, full-force, out of the radiator. A 250-fahrenheit-degree stew of toxic, sweet-stinking antifreeze shot into your face, your mouth, your nose, your eyes.

A week later, the sounds of a hospital still surrounded you. You couldn't see. The doctors told you that you might never again. The skin grafted onto your face was doing well, they said. You would survive, you knew you would- but you were through working on cars.