But we have yet to touch each other physically.

She even offers me a hand up off the floor one night after watching TV for some hours, but I’m all prideful and self-conscious about my aches and prematurely creaking frame, so I stand on my own.

And it doesn’t occur to me until much much later how stupid I am, that she did that on purpose, and that I had the perfect excuse to hold her hand that night but didn’t.

But that’s just  me bein me with really not much else on the agenda.

You know, I can still see her face as she offers me her hand, with an expectant smile, and then mocking disbelief at how stupid I am to pass it up.

And so this is what leads up to the accident.  Yes, a car accident on a fog encrusted Oklahomey City road out by Lake Overholser where we had gone to drink wine and sit in the fog and look at the Lake and just drink each other in.

Yes, I will admit that after two or three weeks of this schedule, my batteries were burning a little low.  Love and caffeine can only keep a body (particularly my body) going on 3 and 4 hours of sleep a night for so long.

But, anyway, this time it is a TWO car accident, not the one car accident that has become my specialty.

And not only that, but the accident isn’t even my fault – this goddamn drunk redneck comes over the double yellow with a fence on my side so there’s nowhere to go, no way to avoid him and he clips the left front of my Dad’s car pretty good and we slide over to the left hand shoulder and shudder to a stop.

So I make sure Sharon’s OK and jump out running after the culprit.  His car is stalled so I get a good look at him and even sit in his car and talk to him a minute or two while he tries to get going again, at first to no avail.

Then I leave and go back to Sharon, but make sure to get his plate.  While I’m sitting there talking to her, he finally starts up his car and drives off.  Well, shit.

But anyway, I know there’s an emergency phone like 30 yards down the road, so we go there and call for the cops and a tow truck and tell them the make of the car and the plate and while we’re waiting and I’m bemoaning my bad luck and I can’t believe this is happening again, another goddamn car accident and all that she puts her arms around my waist and holds me tight – and I melt – and I am never the same again.

(Tappan Ferry, N.Y.  Summer 1995)