It was Decemeber, I remember it. It was so cold I had to wear my long coat, the one I love and never get to wear. I was driving, at the speed limit more or less, and I was driving home to see my family for the break.
I expected my trip to be dull and average, as it always was, because thats how my famile had always been. But this trip down state, would not be so kind as to give me the pleasure of being average, no no.
As I am driving down this long strip of state road, lined with oaks and maples, with the air all chilly and wonderful, I caught a glimpse of the pair of headlights, heading straight for me.
Coming toward me, almost happily, with some strange inanimate cheer, and after a moment of bliss I was terrified. Assuming that I would surely die, I gripped the steering and tried to veer off, but to no avail. The car had apparently already come in contact with mine.
Not that I would have noticed because, it did no damage.
Now, with both of us coming at eachother at forty-five miles an hour, you'd figure we'd both be seriously injured or dead.
But there had been no damage to my car, not scratch and before I knew the car was behind me, and I was having to look in the rear-view mirror to see it.
The car had stopped there on the road, and the driver's door, and I did the same, thinking that would have been the fit thing to do. A man stood about a foot away from me, his eyes glanced at me and then my car and with a look of confusion began to speak. "How is it that either of us is alve, and our cars in tact?"
"I'm not sure, I mean logically, what just happend was impossible." We stood there, in what I assumed, was a mutual wondering. The man, remembering something began to say "Can you giveme a ride my car is somehow out out of gas.." he said with a comfort as if we had known eachother for years.
"Sure, where are you headed ?" I asked, and he stated that he was headed toPortland. "Well that's where I'm headed, hop in." But before we reached that point, you know where he go in passenger seat and I got in the driver's, he reached out his hand.
The man was trying to give me a handshake, so in return I gave him a warm smile, and placed my hand in his. Except it would not go, our hand simply colided right through eachother, in fact when we didn't touch, I barely felt my hand at all. It was the strangest thing.
"Why can't I?" the man said, not feeling the need to finishthe sentence. "Well I'm not sure, not sure of very much at all right now." So we proceeded to get in the car, and I started the engine, and from there we just tried to take it as normally as possible.
Several hours later, we stopped at a gas station, because both of us were straving, though he was polite enought not to say so. He picked up a ginger ale, and some of those prepackaged cookies, which put me in a bit of a confusion. Because I had seen something familiar about those snacks, and I looked down to the things in my handbasket, and realized why they seemed so familiar.
What a coincidence, I mean there was no way he could have seen what I had gotten, he had been outside smoking. I thought to myself 'How strange.' and right then and there I saw him in a new light, catching the brand of his cigarettes poking out of his left pocket as he went up to the cashier. "Salem's" I repeated, as he looked over "Did you say something?" he asked, "Uh-No." I answered.
Sitting there in the car parked outside, the windows frosty and the scenery outside out of focus, he noticed what I had, "What a coincidence!" he said as if it was the happiest thing he had heard today. "I couldn't help but notice, you smoke salem's if I am not mistaken."
"Well yes that's quite right." he answered. So I pulled out my pack from teh center console of the car, and then yet another coincidence occured we simultaneously said "Yea, four years", both of us telling how long we had been smoking.
The man laughed a bit, and leaned over to me, and did something, I truthfully had not seen coming. Except this thing that I did not see coming, well it didnt really happen, our faces simply colided, intersected really, jsut went right through eahother. This egged him on to try again, but to no avail. Which might have been quite convenient for me, and I soon found out for him.
"You don't find that just a little strange?" he asked politely with a smile. "Well I suppose so, but I mean what is there to do about it, I guess I was a bit relieved, I mean I have someone back at school waiting for me. Not that I didnt welcome it it's just..." 'I know what you mean, so do I, things arent going so well between us..." he stared off in the direction of the steering wheel for a moment, then looked back up a me.
"Us either, to be honest, we aren't even quite in love anymore, it's not even sad just, well, ending is all." I said giving away all this not only because I felt I could trust this man with my life, but to see if it would be yet another thing in which we were alike.
"Us either, I don't think there's been any hope between me and Claire for a long time." he said almost laughing it off, I was almost sure by this point that he felt the way I did, that every effort to save something that didn't want to be saved, was futile.
"Have we met before?" I asked, not really thinking of what I had been saying, but just blurting out the first thing that came to mind. "Well I don't think so, but I can see why you would ask that question." he said as a warm smile spread across his face. He leaned in again, and yet again, our faces collided, went right through eachother.
At this point neither of us wanted ask why it was that we could not touch one another. So we just kept driving, and had light conversations and shared funny stories, that after awhile got boring since most of ours shared a rythmic similarity.
Finally, we arrived in portland, and it was rather late, so we figured we shouldn't distrurb our families this late. So we stopped at a motel off the state road and, since it was cheaper, we just rented one room with two beds.
The cable came in fuzzy, and this was the first motel that didn't have an a
that was so run down, it couldn't cool a space within an inch of itself. The room was cozy, and the price was alright.
The man from the accident put his bag down near the edge of, what I guessed, was the bed he was claiming. So I changed into some sweats and a tank, and crawled in for the night. I used the dimmer on the wall, to turn down the lights, because I jsut can't sleep with with them off.
"Wow, this place really makes me miss my dorm." he said. I agreed though I didn't say because frankly I was too tired to engage in another conversation. But he kept going so I ended up staying up till about three, when I found out that in the spring his plans were to transfer to my campus and get a job at a local firm.
"You wanna move in together?" he asked very calmly, and the most absurd part, as if it had been all something I should have expected, I said yes.
So in the spring we began living together in Building Four, apartment 17. We are the strangest sight around, we eat breakfast in the middle of the night, we get up hours too early just to walk the campus, and we can't seem to physically touch eachother.
That becomes a little annoying sometimes, like when one of the other friends he has taps him on the shoulder to get his attention. But day by day, we become a little closer to tangible, and I'f figuring at this rate, we'll be holding hands but next winter.