July 6, 1998

I have returned with a story to tell. Dane and I arrived in Biloxi around four o’clock Friday, June 19. We waited two hours at the Boomtown Casino for my grandfather to get in town to pick up my mom. As soon as he arrived, we threw my mom and sibling’s luggage in my grandfather’s Lincoln and Dane and I took my mom’s van.
We drove around Biloxi, hooked up with a few of Dane’s friends and bought tickets to the premiere of the X-Files movie. (Movie rating: Glorified episode of the show.) Skip forward to midnight. I dropped Dane off at his friend Jason’s house. (Jason: Real cool guy. Funny as hell. Sorry, girls, he’s taken by a beautiful and cool girl.) I went to the Grand Casino (Biloxi) where my friend Jon works. The plan was to follow him home, since he lives out in the boonies of Ocean Springs. Then he’d change clothes and we’d go in his truck, “the Tank”, to a party. I met Jon at the Grand and we started on our way to his house. I followed in my van, him in his Blazer. We had just got on the Ocean Springs – Biloxi Bridge (US90) when I saw Jon swerve sharply toward the middle barrier that separates the East and West traffic on the bridge. I slammed on my brakes as soon as I saw him do that. As I kept moving forward, there was a moment of clarity – everything slowed down, and, now, in my mind’s eye, it seems like slow motion – when I knew there was no stopping, I was about the meet the rear of my friend’s Blazer. The first impact was the hardest. Then there was a softer secondary impact from the car that hit my rear – a Mercedes. Some would say I was kissed by gold. After a few hours, the police, who neglected to take statements and, basically, fabricated their own story to fit what looked like had happened, were finished with us. The result: Five cars involved. Two were able to be driven away – my friend’s Blazer and a Ford Ranger. My van was totaled, the Mercedes was in bad shape and may be totaled, too, and the car in the very front who collided with the barrier in the middle of the bridge and came about three inches from going over into oncoming traffic. The effect: A car, with dim emergency lights, had run out of gas in the right lane (my friend and I were in the left lane) and, presumably, the wreck was caused by people trying to quickly merge into the left lane without any warning.
No, my parents weren’t too upset. But, now that we only have two cars, I’ll have to get a ride to San Antonio to visit Dane.
“I’m just a big disappointment.”

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