The day had warmed from the chilly morning to the temperate afternoon, so he paid his lunch check, left his coat on the back of his chair, left the diner, and stepped into the sunshine of the parking lot.
If he had remembered to put on his coat, he wouldn’t have noticed a fragment of lint on the front of his shirt. If he hadn’t noticed the lint, he would have seen the low air pressure in his front driver’s side tire. If he had noticed the low air pressure, he would also have noticed the sluggish handling of his car as he negotiated the entrance ramp to the highway on the way home. If he had noticed the sluggish handling, he would have been more prepared to deal with the downed branch that blocked part of the entrance ramp merging onto the interstate. If he had been more prepared to deal with the branch, he might not have overcorrected his steering and let his passenger-side front tire slip off the pavement onto the gravel. If he hadn’t let his passenger-side front tire slip onto the gravel, he wouldn’t have flipped his car over the embankment where it rolled seven times before coming to rest in the backyard of a cute little ranch-style house. If he hadn’t flipped into the backyard, his future wife wouldn’t have run to make sure he was okay.
If he hadn’t met his future wife, who would have gotten him the new coat for Christmas that year?
About the contributor: John Sheirer is a writer and teacher from Massachusetts. His books include memoir, fiction, poetry, essays, political satire, and photography. Find him on web.