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September 13, 2006 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-13

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Wedesay Setebe 1, 206 -Te ichga Dil

The Moose

Gas, Baby

3B NOTEBOOK
A look at all of the things you
should and shouldn't be talking
about on campus this week.
4B ARCHITECTURE COLUMN
Austin Dingwall compliments the
University's decision to delay
the construction of North Quad.
5B IN MY OWN WORDS
Marty Stano discusses his
semester on the streets
and couches of Ann Arbor.
6B A ROAD LESS TRAVELED
Alternative opportunites
for University students to
see and explore the far
reaches of the world.
10B HISTORY COLUMN
Christopher Zbrozek looks
back at the University's ori-
gins in the city of Detroit.
11B FICTION
Two short stories from Universi-
ty writers, includ-
ing the Daily's
managing
news editor.

Welcome back. Hopefully you've settled into
your schedules and haven't slept through too
many classes yet.
Hopefully, you'll notice the new design and lay-
outs in The Statement this week. We've moved to
a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing layout.
We hope you like it as much as we do.
Already, we've been researching stories from
technological advancements on campus to AIDS
and contraceptives to the growing poker trend
and its effect on many students. You'll be able
to find those later in the semester, along with
a number of other relevant and informative arti-
cles.
This week, there's an in-depth article on alterna-
tive opportunities for students to study and work
abroad. Some of the Daily photographers who took
advantage of these opportunities went to places
like Cambodia, India and Nicaragua.
Also, we have a detailed account from Marty
Stano of his life on the streets of Ann Arbor after
being expelled from the dorms. It's a view not
often seen by the student body and definately
something you won't forget.
We also have a column by Austin Dingwall on
the construction, or lack thereof, of North Quad,
what it means to the University and why its post-
ponement is not necessarily a bad thing.
And we would be remiss in not mentioning the
fantastic group of editors and designers who
made this issue possible. Thank you to Shubra
Ohri, who coordinated the photos and photog-
raphers for everything but our cover story. And
an extra special thanks to Gervis Menzies and
Bridget O'Donnell, who designed all of the pages
on terribly short notice.
Thanks for reading.
James V. Dowd, Magazine Editor
Chris Gaerig, Associate Magazine Editor

he man opened his eyes.
"Virginia he said, look-
ing over at his wife. "Can
you hear me?"
Glass from the windshield had
gorged her face and tiny rivulets of
blood ran onto her blouse, mixing
with the floral pattern, but she was
still breathing.
He looked down at himself. A
piece of glass had cut his left thigh,
but not deeply. Otherwise, he was
completely unharmed. His wife
had not been so lucky. Whatever
their car had run into head-on had
hit them on her side.
The man could only remember
up to the moment of the collision.
They had been driving out of Chica-
go on a near-deserted highway. Bing
Crosby was on the radio. It was the
quiet time before dawn that's mostly
mist and cold - a hazy, tired gray.
The last things he remembered were
a large brown mass on the highway
in front of him. He had jerked the
wheel left. That was all.
He could see that same brown
in the place where the windshield
had been, but he couldn't tell
what it was. He looked at his wife
again, and realized he had to get
out of the car to go for help. He
had no idea how long he'd been
unconscious - probably only a
minute or two - but no one had
stopped to help them yet. They
were on a two-lane highway. He
couldn't remember the last car
he'd seen. The man opened the car
door, stumbling out into the early-
morning. It was then that he saw
what they'd hit.
It was a moose.
He blinked, looked away, then
turned his head back to the animal.
It lay bleeding on the hood of the
car, its antlers stuck in the hood.
The mantriedtocatch his breath.
He fished in his pocket for his cell-
phone. There was a terrible second
wherehethought it wasn'tthere,but
he found it beneath a pack of gum.
He dialed the Chicago police.
"We hit a moose," he said when
a tired female voice answered.
"I'm sorry, sir, you'll have to
speak slower, what happened?"
"We hita moose."
"A what?"
"A moose."
"It's a crime to call in pranks to
911," the woman said.
The man looked down at his
phone in disbelief like a baseball
player looks into his glove after
missing a key groundball, as if it

was the phone's fault that this was
happening.
"I'm not joking," he said. "We
hit a moose. It was standing in the
middle of the highway and we hit
it. My wife's hurt. She needs an
ambulance."
"There are no moose in Chica-
go:" she said. It sounded like she'd
lost interest.
The man didn't know what to
say. He stared at the moose. Behind
it, he could see the Chicago sky-
line. The sun was starting to rise
over the Sears Tower.
"Listen:' he said. "This is not a
joke. You need to send an ambu-
lance right now."
"I'm going to hang up, sir:" she
said. "I hope next time you respect
that this line is only for real emer-
gencies."
The line clicked dead.
Frantically, the man dialed 911
again. As it rang, he went to the
other side of the car - around the
moose, whose eyes stared up black
and dead - and looked at his wife.
Her breathing had slowed. It had
turned into a wet wheezing.
A few cars passed, but none
stopped. Only three or four min-
utes had passed since they'd hit the
moose.
It rang and rang. Finally, the
same operator picked up.
"Sir, this is not funny:"she said.
This is whenhe lost it. He began
to scream into the phone, describ-
ing the blood collecting in a pool
on his wife's blouse.
"This is absurd, sir, I'm going
to hang up. If you call again, we'll
have to press charges," the woman
said.
So he began to describe the
moose - its beady eyes, its blood-
caked ears, its torn fur. Later, he
would recall a certain musty-sour
smell to it, but he didn't notice it
then.
"I'm going to lose her," he said.
"If you don't believe me right now,
I'm going to lose her."
There was a pause on the other
end. His wife continued to bleed.
The sun climbed higher in the sky.
Another car passed. The moose
stayed dead.
"Where did you say you were,
sir?" the operator finally said.
The man let the cellphone slip
onto the asphalt. It was now clear
his wife wasn't going to make
it. He kissed her forehead. The
entire time, he kept his eyes on
the moose.

enny's baby was born on a Tues-
day. When she and her husband
Joel drove past the Shell sta-
tion on the corner of Asbury
and 10th, it was filled with cars and
people. What did they care about the
gas station? They were on their way
to the hospital, terror in their hearts,
almost triumphs in their thoughts,
shouts in their throats - would the
baby be perfect? Would something
go wrong?Jenny's body was wracked
with lightning pains that went limb
to limb, vein to vein; her hand rested
on her belly, which kicked and rolled
like a churning sea, her eyes shone
like insanity. How, inside of this,
could they have seen the family of
rats chewing on the gas line under-
neath the ground - the fibers of the
rubber tube splitting one by one, the
trickle of brown fluid growing to a
river and the cigarette thrown care-
lessly out the window of a '94 dodge
duster down the sewer into the pits of
the earth?
When they came back, 18 hours
later, with little Elizabeth sucking on
Jenny's breast, the Shell station was
gone, a smoking black cavern. They
drove past. Joel gripped the steering
wheel,grinning,frowning,then grin-

ning again, his young wife, blown-
open blissfully, cradling the life that
the two had created. How could they
have noticed - driving at 30 mph,
chewing on hospital pizza - the
stenciled body marks against the
halls of the carwash where teenage
kids exploded with their girlfriends,
the sour-apple lollypops melted into
their crushed Christmas-ornament
skulls, their school rings coating
their flesh with gold and gems, their
blue jeans left like confetti on the
roofs of the neighborhood, their teeth
sprinkled like snow in the air? How
could they have cared - Jenny, with
her newborn daughter drinking from
her, Joel holding the baby's little foot
in his hand, the two singing along to
a Beatles song on the radio?
Katie and Sam drove down
Asbury at 5 a.m. The sun was about
to die over a large building that read:
SELL YOUR STUFF! CHEAP! I-
800-433-3300. It said to call some
guy named Larry. Katie and Sam
were 17 and had just lost their virgin-
ity to each other. When Sam came
for the first time inside his girlfriend,

his first thought was what his father
was doing right at that moment. He
would probably be sleeping like an
idiot, thought Sam, his belly resting
like a large egg on his Rodeo belt-
buckle, his legs splayed carelessly
on the family easy chair, his tongue
hanging out of his face like a melted
cherry popsicle. And, thinking this,
with his naked ass sticking up in the
air, Sam laughed very loudly. His
father spanked him until he was 15.
Now he was a man and his father
was nothing. Sam's laugh grew loud-
er. Katie, warm, dismantled, alive,
laughed with him - not because
she knew what he was laughing
about, but because everything was
funny and beautiful. WHY ARE
WE LAUGHING? she cried. I don't
know, Sam said, his eyes blooming
tears.I LOVE YOU. And then: Yeah,
so, we just had sex, Sam whispered. I
know, said she. And then they looked
at the phone - who do we tell?
Lying there together, glistening,
listening to Bob Dylan whine about
atomic bomb threats they would
never know, hands holding each
other, feet tangled together like boats
after a hurricane, Sam told her that
See GAS, page 12B

-44

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6B

Mgazne..Editor: JamesV.
Associte MaganeEditor: Chris Gaerg
Cover Art: Shuba Ohri
Photo Editor: Shubra Ohri
Mnaging Editor: Jeffrey Bome5

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