I've got this thing called a dream catcher over my bed. It's supposed to sort through your dreams and get rid of the nightmares and let you keep the ones. It's rather pretty, in a weirdo sort of way. I mean it's got this circle net thing with magenta feathers and red and white beads hanging off of it. Personally, I don't think red and magenta match but now that I look at it, that color combination has grown on me. I think it's Indian or something. I don't know, I'm just assuming, seeing as it also has this huge arrowhead hanging from the net thing. There was a little story that came with it, but I chucked it. I have to admit when I first got it, it frighten me. Karen Fournier got it for me for my sixteenth birthday. When I pulled it from the bag I thought, What is this? but I smiled and said thank you. I really like it now, though. Props to Karen.
Anyway, the point is the dream catcher works really well. I mean I've had it for about three whole weeks, and I haven't had a nightmare yet. Not any I remember. Well, I did have one bad night. Let me tell you, that night sucked. It was the night of The Pole.
Let me explain. Well, Capt. Obvious, it's actually quite simple. We hit a telephone pole last weekend. That's right, a pole. Yeah, I'm fine. We all are. We were just a little bruised and scared as hell.
It started out a quiet night - this is Bristol after all. Anyway, it was just us girls cruising. Leanne Fournier was driving. I myself had shotgun. Shotgun is something we all fight over. The Fourniers just recently typed up a list of shotgun rules. Good thing, too. We were starting to get violent over it. I hit Leanne once. Whacked her good in the head. We are over it now. I guess Bryan and his friends had a similar incident. But I digress. Melissa Michaud, Meg Tedford, Meg Read, and Ellen Traverso were in the back.
We were all singing to Leanne's Mad Booty Car Mix. Us singing. That's something else. We are better than a choir. People should pay to listen to us. We could make a lot of money.
Anyway, we were on our way to Tedford's when it happened. A raccoon ran in front of the car. Leanne, being the only person in the whole world who swerves when someone throws a cigarette butt out the window, swerved to avoid hitting the raccoon. Instead of hitting the raccoon she hit a pole.
It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. My head came like, less than an inch from the windshield. Good thing I was wearing my seat belt. I usually get made fun of for putting it on. I'd never been in an accident before besides the snowbank that me, Leanne, Bryan, and Tom Lavoie hit on the way to school one morning. But that was funny, especially seeing as I didn't have to get out of the car to push. Only Leanne and Tom did.
The worst thing, though, was that I looked over at Leanne and I thought she was dead. Her head was against the steering wheel and she wasn't moving. I don't know what I would have done if she had died that night. She is my best friend. Or if I had lost anyone else.
But everyone was okay. Tedford pointed out numerous times that she could have been thrown into the windshield but an "Oh, Shut Up! " from Melissa quickly silenced her. It was like, you weren't the only one almost killed, so get over it. Leanne didn't need to feel any worse.
The car didn't have too much damage. I mean, you could tell we hit a pole, but other than that it was fine. Just a little dent. All parents were understanding. It's not like it was Leanne's fault. As my mother put it, it was basic instinct to swerve. I think for Leanne the worst part was telling Bry. Bryan was pretty cool about it. Except by the end of the weekend all his friends knew. Gabe gave Leanne the hardest time. He couldn't understand why she didn't just plow over the raccoon. I guess Leanne just isn't as evil as he had originally thought.
I have to admit I like telling the story. It's a pretty exciting story too. We went to a party the next night, and it was the main topic of conversation. I must have told the story a million times. It makes you feel kinda important. And seeing as no one was hurt - hey, why not?
Melissa slept over that night. We were shaken up, but we laughed about it and compared bruises. Like I said, it makes a great story. Both of us had nightmares. I guess that experience was just too much for the dream catcher to handle.
And she is telling me this story because ... Well the point is, if you're ever driving around and a raccoon flies into your path - HIT THE RACCOON! Pound it to the pavement. Stephen Meligonis says you get extra special driving bonus points if you do. 1
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.