by m.s.wardrip

An old truck driver remarked, “When something goes wrong on the highway, things can come unglued real fast!” So true! Vehicle parts scatter quickly in an accident. All the perfectly fitted, attached pieces and parts don’t take long to scatter to the four winds in an accident. Months after wrecks, small pieces still litter the streets.

What is a roadway, but a path. What is a life but a path. In life, pieces of the traveler can scatter in all directions quickly, coming unglued, littering the path for ages. The wreck can be perceived as being in slow motion, when in reality, it is not. It’s coming unglued in real time.

I drive a streetsweeper. Some call it a sweetstreeper. I call it “Eraser” because that’s what it does. It erases pieces that came unglued by brushing and sucking them up. Later, it deposits the trash in a hopper that goes to the landfill or recycler. All the unglued pieces wind up recycled, in the landfill, in cracks in the road or swept to the side. All in all, when something goes wrong, there are scattered pieces left from the explosion.

You would think someone would want these little pieces to make crafts, art, decorations or something useful. You could adorn a Christmas tree, glue them on a rubber tire for a lawn ornament, smash them up and sprinkle them in a flower garden for color and texture. You could mix the little pieces and parts into wet cement as you make a birdbath. You could put the pieces in jars and set them about the house for curiosities. You could smash them into powder, mix with asphalt and make new roads. You could get some glue and glue all the pieces back together. You could, but you’re not going to. We can all say, “I could.”, but in my case, the correct thing to say is, “I won’t.”

I won’t be gluing any pieces together. I won’t be retrieving any of the pieces. In fact, I could care less what happens to the pieces now. Actually, that’s not true. I do care what happens to the pieces. I just don’t want to deal with them now. They’re broken, okay? Why try to fix the unfix-able? You can’t ever glue them back together properly. Too many little pieces are missing, broken or turned to dust.

Just like on life’s highway, too many things go wrong, there are too many parts missing, broken or turned to dust.

The band has broken up, came unglued, too many things went wrong, there are too many pieces missing, broken or turned to dust. So, just what does a one-man-guitar-band do?

I have my shiny new car body on. She is a massive machine, fine-tuned and fit. It has a lot of meat on it. My brand new rubber tires I call boots. There is a large amount of un-broken chrome on the grill, down the sides and all the way around the back. The red, yellow and white plastic lights, lenses, trim is sparkling silver, and a glint of sunshine bounces off the triple-clear-coated bright and new paint as I speed down the highway, taking in the sights, sounds, smells and exhilaration. Ah, the ride. Ah, the confidence, Ah, the sound system. This mess-kit is jumpin’. Speak-Nasties are thumpin’. A full tank of gas, a shoeshine and a clean windshield. A backseat full of gonnabes. What’s that in the road ahead? Looks like somethin’. Lights, sirens, a crowd around wrecked cars and… Just a man with a broom and a highly-reflective vest, sweeping pieces parts from a wreck off the side of the road.

The flagger motions for us to proceed cautiously. When it’s safe, I stomp on it. I’m not coming unglued. I am the glue.