The Horror of Taking Another Life: Part I

August 16, 2009
I had was halfway down my street: home
Literally, I could have thrown a rock the 250 into my bedroom window
Then, What the fuck was that
The impact was tremendous

Jumping out of the car, three things immediately catch my eye
A broken. my headlight watch and a ten dollar bill, clearly having been rolled around a handle bar
The horror begins as I look behind me
A woman sprawled in the road and her bicycle
This cannot be good

I grab my phone and call 911
I need an ambulance on Gordon Rd., off 29 By-Pass
I’ve hit a bicyclist; it’s not good
She’s certainly got broken ribs and is aspirating

Calm down, sir
Fuck calming down
Grab hold of her hand, and try to get a response
I’m doing….Oh God, she’s dead
What makes you think she’s dead
Has her respiration stopped
No, her pupils are blown
I’m no CSI junky
I have clinical training in Medical Ethics
She’s brain dead

Sir, try too calm down, and remain on the line until help arrives
Are there other injuries
She compound fractures to her arm and both legs, her jaw is broken
Where the fuck are the EMT
Sir, they are on the way

While the other EMS team was trying to get me to receive help for cuts on my hands and feet from the glass
I watched the other team
They bagged her
On the way to the ambulance, they stopped depressing the bag
Teresa Ann Williams was dead
And, I was partly to blame
She haunts both my waking and dreaming hours

© 07/07/10

Currently unavailable for purchase

The Horror of Taking Another Life: Part I by 


accident, contingency, death, haunting, pupils, rain

I came rather late to poetry and even later to photography. I have graduate degrees in philosophy. I realized sometime ago that nearly all of my work makes some sort of implicit argument, and it often makes rather esoteric references to philosophy. Sorry: not trying to be turgid. It’s what I know, and it what Pan whispers into my ear.

You may find my newer, more formal photography at:
Thanks, Rusty

View Full Profile


  • janeymac
    janeymacalmost 4 years ago

    Rusty, this is gripping , raw emotional and heartbreaking for you both . Comming to terms with it all , would be a nightmare …….I hope by writing down you get some release
    love Jane

  • Thank you, Jane. She’s left me alone for a while, but the dreams are returning. I suppose that it’s the time of year. The truly scary part for me is yet to come. I’ll more than likely make it into a journal entry because of the details. This is the first time that I’ve been able to write about it. I do hope that it will help and, given my experience with my son, I have reason to believe that it will. That it will. Love, ME

    – Rusty Gentry

  • janeymac
    janeymacalmost 4 years ago

    Writing is good for the soul Rusty , I did my journal entry My brush with death and I wrote out all the stuff I was keeping inside for all those years and it was a kind of release sort of allowing myself to say this happened you know? My heart goes out to you and I hope by writing you get some closure , my friend

  • This is an entry included here? I have an unpublished piece entitled, “Death on an Installment Plan: My Own.” I mean, the tumor, had a situation whereby my vehicle flipped over a guardrail and 80 ft down the side of a mountain (and YES, the seat belt did break: saved my life.), and, believe it or not, at least two other legitimate “Man, you just looked Death in the Eye,” moments. Perhaps I will publish it one day. I will look for a piece by you, as soon as I complete this piece, which will be done in journal form. love, ME

    – Rusty Gentry

  • wasy35
    wasy35almost 4 years ago

    Dang Rusty is this nonfiction?

  • I so wish that it were not, my friend. In fact, I was just sitting down to write something. If the first piece goes well, I will try to complete this one. I believe that I am going to have to complete it as a journal entry, simply because of the sheer info that must be included. I still have some very important things to say (SPOILER HINT: had been at a friend’s pool where lots of gin and tonic were being consumed. Praise Zeus, much as I love g&t, won’t d&d, but there were other issues. You’ll see, and not much of a spoiler, trust me.)
    Wassen, when I write a piece that appears to present facts—-rather than, say, cry out for justice, truth, love, or beauty—I’m writing about things as they happened. My tumor letter would be an example. If it could be written in a different way, Destroyed in Blissful Ignorance: The Italics of the Whispered Growl, would be another such piece. Unfortunately, there is NO other way in which the piece can be written; I sat down on a Sunday afternoon and four hours later had unraveled a great secret of my life. Alas, it doesn’t get a whole lot of attention. Presumably because readers are intimidated by it. Albeit, the language can be elaborate, but all I can do is what is offered to me by the piece. I spent longer trying to significantly re-write the piece than I did to write the largely intact original. When I tried to feed that piece to the reader, it was about as insipid a piece as I have ever seen. Only Kristin, some time ago, and Stephen have bothered to take a try at giving an interpretation, or to tell me how it made them feel. Kat, read the watered down piece. She agreed 100% with me; it’s like growing the hell out of the hair of a toy poodle, then acting as if you have a big dog. Just doesn’t make sense. Okay: well, I suppose I went on a preaching job there. I’ve always had a sore spot for that piece. It actual got a special consideration at a conference, but I can’t get anyone to read it anywhere else. Hell, it may just fucking suck. Okay, that’s cool! Just tell me that and tell me why you think so. Thus it is that I stop.
    Whether I get part II of this out tonight or not, it will be out tomorrow.

    Thanks, my friend. Rusty

    – Rusty Gentry

  • raymondoantonio
    raymondoantonioalmost 4 years ago


  • You’re the man, Ray. Yes, fucked up shit can happen. Hell, it even happens to good people. Speaking of assholes: while I was there holding her hand and talking to her, for what good that was doing, there were a bunch of assholes bunched around saying things like, “I bet she’s messed up.” “Oh, yeah, always drunk and high.” I finally turned around and told them to shut the fuck up, there’s a human being laying dead on the road here. Of course, unless they had heard what I told the 911 op about her blown pupils, they would not have known that much. Nonetheless, she was clearly fucked. I actually went off on them again, after the EMS had left. The Highway Patrolman had to calm me down. I think that I’m just about to finish this piece. It will take some hours, but I want it done. Thanks friend!

    – Rusty Gentry

  • katcollins
    katcollinsalmost 4 years ago

    Baby baby baby! Horrible as it is, there’s a reason they’re called accidents. She forgives you. Forgive yourself. <<<hugs>>>

  • Kat, dear, I know, and I do mean know, that I did nothing wrong. I never for a minute felt a bit of moral culpability. I’m not even sure that there was ever an issue of forgiving myself. It was, in the truest sense of the word, an accident. That doesn’t mean that the images and sounds will not haunt me. Yet, those are activities of the human psyche, specifically the unconscious, not dealing with moral judgments. xo, Rusty

    – Rusty Gentry

  • vampvamp
    vampvampalmost 4 years ago

    far out…..

  • You’ve just got the first part. We haven’t scratched the surface well. You shall see later today.

    – Rusty Gentry

  • vampvamp
    vampvampalmost 4 years ago

    not to interfere but this reminds me of this, which was posted on facebook this week:

  • No, you’re cool; I just cannot watch this today. I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to given what I experienced. I’ve written you a b-mail pertinent to this in some regards. I almost certainly, no I absolutely, suffer from PTSD, as the recurring nightmares from just after the accident have plagued me all week. Hell, I haven’t slept since Wed or Thurs. I just can’t get there without the invasion. Thanks, dear. xo, Rusty

    – Rusty Gentry

  • vampvamp
    vampvampalmost 4 years ago

    it would not suprise me at all to know that PTSD is current. sorry mate. :( xo

  • This is where being hard-headed & the determination to prevail over contingency, so as to impose my own meaning onto all of the chaos comes in handy. I will suffer like everyone else. but I will LIVEt hrough and in spite of it, with a big “Fuck You, I Lived” at the end. Although, I suppose that all of this, even if it is THE demand I make of myself, doesn’t do much to address PTSD, or help me to sleep. I have something to work towards. Tres bien, Jacqui. xo, Rusty (a name impossible to Frenchify, I HAVE A FREEDOM NAME and suffer the resulting shame)

    – Rusty Gentry

  • vampvamp
    vampvampalmost 4 years ago

    how about ‘rustifique’!? ;]

  • Oh, I am released from the my bondage of the symbolization of my identity being inextricably linked with the destiny of an Imperial…that was becoming a small book far too easily. (Anytime you’d like to hear an impassioned discouse against moral certainty, imperial arrogance, trade deficits, overzealous pursuit of funding by way of foreign investment in Greenbacks, I’ll show you that I can indeed construct an impeccably reasoned and devastatingly disciplined argument entirely devoid of my penchant for the proliferation of paradoxes by way of the turgid logic of stream of consciousness and the self-reflexive nature of language, you need only ask. I shall provide you with a compellihg highly polished gem of a bm. I am so full of shit!) For the sake of berevitym allergic to it as I may be, I will simply say: Je dirai simplement, le nom brillant. Je m’incline devant vous.
    Do you simply have a special talent for names , or is this the manifestation of a fetish, discovering the origins of which would be fascinating? You’ve even added a nom de guerre, in the relatively short span during which I have known you, evven if it was not of your own manufacture, graciious as you were to acknowledge your collaborator in denominatoin.
    Can you tell trhat I needed a break from what I was working so diligenttly towards polishing? I beg your pardon on teh part of fortuity for your having become the victim of it. I thus return to my work with a renewed sense of urgency. I must live up to my proud new name. Adieu, mon ami, Rustifique

    – Rusty Gentry

  • Rusty Gentry
    Rusty Gentryalmost 4 years ago

    Damn, now I forgot what I came here to RB to do.

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait