I Won’t Be Another Statistic

Chandler C

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Infancy. I see my father making funny faces as my mother increases the speed of our car to try to get me to laugh. I feel the gentle bumping of the road, and the sweet tickles of my father’s gentle fingers. I hear my own laughter that quickly turns to screams as my ears are assaulted by an ear-piercing shriek followed by a loud CRASH and feelings of agony and fear. Childhood. I browse through the channels of my television, searching for anything that will grab my attention and rid me of my boredom, until I finally find my favorite cartoon: Speed Racer. My young mind does not remember the accident that snatched my father from our family. I enjoy the fast-paced races combined with cool car stunts and the funny chimpanzee. I dream of days when I can join Speed Racer behind the wheel of his Mach 5 and take to the endless road. Adolescence. I am in a room filled with my fellow peers who are all listening to the drone of our driving instructor, attempting to meld into our brains the fact that we should never drive at speeds greater than 70 mph. I feel myself drifting off, ignoring his boring, monotone instructions, dreaming of feeling the wind in my face and the euphoria that goes along with it. I think, I won’t be another statistic.Adulthood. I am told the story of the car accident that killed my father, and begin to remember the horrific scenes that my young brain had blacked out of my memory. I reassure myself that this will never happen to me, that there’s no way that I could ever possibly be a statistic. The desire to hear the fierce revving of a vehicle’s engine, the adrenaline that courses through your veins as you climb to speeds of 60, 70, 80…Once you feel it, it isn’t possible to slow down. Midlife. I see myself standing near a grave, with people surrounding it. I attempt to glimpse the name borne on the headstone but it is impossible to move through the people congregated around. I see my mother, my family, all my friends in tears, screaming into the sky why he had to be another statistic. Finally they clear away, leaving one person standing by the stone: my father. I stare in shock as I see my name on the surface of the tomb. My father offers me his hand. As I take it, my vision fades to black as I think I won’t be another statistic…I won’t be another statistic…I won’t be another statistic…