I am driving back to base with a vehicle full of comrades. It’s been a week since the last winter storm, but the remnants of last nights freeze still frosts the road.
My attention sharpens on the road as I notice obvious signs that the on-coming trailer truck is beginning to jack-knife.
Quickly accessing the current lane, I realize that it is also occupying the only dry spot between me and a mini-glacier that spans both lanes.
No out. Both medians are stacked with rock hard snow-ice and no telling what is in there or how deep it is.
Fuck. We are going to crash and are quickly running out of time.
I’ll just tap-tap-release and try to slide in for a side to side impact with the trailer. My side. Yup. Go.
“Brace, brace, brace.” I utter over the human chatter and begin executing the steps as the trailer ahead begins to slide horizontally across my view.
Quickly I glance over to see if my alert had been heard and followed.
Dude next to me is holding onto the strap soon to imprison him in his seat as if it were a priest delivering last rites.
“No.” I state while freeing a hand from maneuvers to apply to the back of his neck and shove his face into his knees. “Interlock your fingers behind your head.”
The truck driver up ahead is working to regain control when a trailer wheel hits a chunk of ice and begins to tip in motion, as if to capsize.
I use the space from the opposing sway of the trailer to zig around the ice patch and begin a controlled slide away from the impending doom.
Like a perverted Tchaikovsky dance, trucker and I manage to completely avoid a collision as I slip through an opening and out of the danger zone.
I glance back in the mirror. Trucker manages to use the piled up ice to steady the trailer — while in motion — and bring the rig to a safe rest.
I tap my brakes as if to say “you okay”
He flashes his lights in a “good to go”
Whew. I slide my own vehicle to a stop, just to calm my nerves.
“Gotdamn that trucker’s got madd skills!” I blurt out.
Dude in the passenger seat punches me in the arm.
“Are you fucking crazy?! You coulda broke my face AND got us all killed!!!”
Trying not to roll my eyes, I check that everyone is okay before responding.
“First, uncontrollable circumstance. Second, it’s over and we are all okay, even if rattled. Third, who the hell thinks ‘Brace’ means hold on to the flimsiest thing you can find and pray that heaven saves yo dumb ass?”