Early morning. Last week. Heading out to fish. Saw this car in a nose dive a few hundred feet ahead of me on Topanga Canyon.


I couldn’t tell when it had happened. Hours ago? Minutes? Seconds?

It was early as I said, and the road was empty, but another car appeared and pulled over. He got to the wreck before me. I dreaded what might be inside.


“It’s empty,” he yelled to me.

I could see the windows on the driver’s side were smashed out.

I thought again…how long ago did this happen? I felt the undercarriage of the engine. It was cold.


Someone had fled the scene…escaped from the responsibility of this crack-up.

My heart sank. How like a relationship gone bad did this incident suddenly appear to me.

The car was the love affair or the friendship or the family dynamic hurtling at reckless speed around the curves and complexities that form these ties.

Without constant correction and adjustment, without careful alignment, the relationship crashes. The people inside can take responsibility for their role, or wait for cooler heads to prevail, or admit their shared fault and together pull the wreck out of the ditch.

Or they can break the windows, climb out, save only themselves, and run from the mess they have made of their lives.

It’s their decision. And ours.



2 Responses to The Crack-Up

  1. fz says:

    Texting or alcohol. Or betrayals.

  2. Brian says:

    Yeah ! Nice . I bet that texting was involved , if only everyone would just admire Topanga Cyn slowly like the bumper stickers say . Glad you did not find anything inside.

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