Hwy 11 and Wanuskewin

The smell of beer and gasoline
must be the stench of guilt
for the one who made the choice
that night to take the wheel.
Perhaps a friend suggested
that she call a cab or sleep it off,
maybe not.
Either way, she made a choice
and now
The smell of beer and gasoline
looks like twisted metal

Note: The intersection of Wanuskewin (WA-nuh-SKAY-win) Road and Hwy 11 (just north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada) is an intersection that I travel through every day on my way to and from work. It is infamous for the number of collisions…all too many of them causing fatalities. Just a few nights ago, a family of 4 was killed (some at the scene, and some shortly thereafter in hospital) when a drunk driver tried crossing the highway without stopping. As sad and angry as this makes me, I also find myself pitying the woman who caused the crash, as I can’t imagine the burden of guilt that she must be feeling.

Written for dVerse, where we are writing about scent and its relation to memory.


18 thoughts on “Hwy 11 and Wanuskewin

  1. Car accidents conjure torn hot fatiguing metal, & overheated brakes & hot oil spilling on hotter manifolds, but I love the notion that guilt smells of beer & gasoline.

  2. We were rearended by a drunk driver when I was six. The fact that we weren’t killed was considered a miracle. the driver was taken to the hospital and ended up partially paralyzed. He showed no remorse for driving drunk and almost killing a family. He only thought of himself with self pity. Self pity and no guilt is also the smells of gasoline and cheap whisky. Good take on this prompt.

    • I *hope* that the lady in my story feels guilt…enough guilt to change her, but not so much that it destroys her. As Bjorn commented, maybe she’ll change in such a way that she’ll end up saving others.

  3. How terrible and tragic ~ We have our own stories here of death from drunk driving ~ Well its a choice we make, and sadly for her, a heavy burden of guilt ~ Happy New Year ~

  4. Sad, sad… It makes me angry too that people continue to deny that they are so impaired that they shouldn’t be behind the wheel. And so interesting that many times the drunk driver survives. Thanks for sharing your “toxic” mixture of smells, Bryan.

  5. Sad.. little boys..
    girls.. young
    so represSinG
    so oppresSinG
    cloSinG heARts
    miNds.. boDys
    if only
    they could
    Feel.. gasoLine
    will burn
    SinG dancE
    life sober
    miNd and

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