A history of wrecks

And how to make them history.

Annie's tits are her favorite topic of conversation, which befuddles me. Granted, her breasts are unquestionably magnificent, especially considering she's not even 5 feet tall and once gave birth to a child. I hear having kids wrecks your breasts, though that did not happen to Annie or even to me, come to think of it. In fact I hardly even had breasts before I gave birth, when I used to have to wear one of those robo-bras with underwires that could practically grab fat from the back of my thighs and reposition it. But then I had a child and I woke up in the hospital the next morning wondering what the hell happened to my chest and how the hell do women walk around with these things?

Anyway, I am not arguing the fact that Annie's tits are awesome — no one would argue that — but what befuddles me is that they're her favorite topic of conversation when there are so many other things about her that are fascinating. Take, for example — and this is just off the top of my head — the fact that she keeps getting hit by cars.

"I don't 'keep' getting hit by cars," she argued with me. "It just happened the three times, and I'm practically positive that third time was the last time."

If you ask me, it did not just happen the three times; if you ask me, she's just counting the hits that resulted in her hospitalization, but even so, that's a lot. I've only been run over by a car once, if you could call it that. I was in Costa Rica minding my own business walking along the esplanade when all of a sudden I was rolling around on the hood of an old rusty Cutlass. The driver simply got out to make sure I wasn't dead, yelled at me like it was my fault, then drove off. This is the reason I kind of hate Costa Rica to this day.

But Annie hardly takes getting hit by cars personally at all. Even the last time, when a big truck driven by drunk rich boys ran her down on its way to crashing into a popular diner. She would have died if not for two miracles. One, she's so tiny that her waist fit inside that space on the bumper where the front license plate is supposed to go, so the truck didn't completely crush her when it took her crashing through the restaurant and pinned her to a table. And two, one of the diners at the table she was pinned to happened to be a trauma surgeon. Still, though, they initially thought she was dead. They even called the "Angel Ambulance," which is what they do when a small child has met with a fatality. But they were soon to discover two surprises. One, not many small children have magnificent tits. And two, Annie was not dead.

But she was close. She had to fight to come back from that one. Evidently the truck, which did not crush all of her, nonetheless crushed her pancreas, which I hear is a pretty important organ. She was in the hospital a long time after that, fusing a lasting friendship with her nurse, a sort of saint named Mary Jane who happened to be my crazy-ass friend Lary's ex-girlfriend. I remember Mary Jane talking about Annie a decade before I met her myself. She called her "supernatural."

Annie became a little famous after the accident, seeing as how she was the tiny thing who survived being run down and then run through a restaurant by a truck. She has put it behind her, except sometimes she gets a little worried she's not finished getting hit by cars. I can totally understand that; I was worried about that just sitting next to her. It didn't help that we were in a car at the time.

Years ago, Mary Jane told me about Annie, how this tiny, tiny girl with a mop of flame-red hair got run down by a drunk and fought with the ferocity of a mountain lion to take each breath as she lay in a hospital bed after that. Now here it is more than 10 years later and I'm sitting next to Annie, marveling how she has the courage to drive a car again after her history of getting hit by such a number of them.

But car wrecks are behind her, she's pretty sure. Besides, she didn't fight so hard in that hospital bed just so she could go home and hide inside where cars can't reach her. "A person can't live like that," Annie says, her blue eyes ignited. You can't spend your life afraid to get in the front seat. You can't spend it waiting for the next wreck. You have to find something else to do, like get married and have a child. You have to find something else to talk about, too, like your magnificent tits.

Hollis Gillespie authored two top-selling memoirs and founded the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy (www.hollisgillespie.com).

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