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I think my psyche is bruising.
I began to understand the real excitements of the car crash after my first meeting with Vaughan. Propelled on a pair of scarred and uneven legs repeatedly injured in one or other vehicle collision, the harsh and unsettling figure of this hoodlum scientist came into my life at a time when his obsessions were self-evidently those of a madman.
Chapter two is taken up wholly by James Ballard describing a car accident he had in great detail.
He skids in the rain, blows out a tyre and then goes hurtling the wrong way up an off-ramp at sixty miles per hour. He hits the third oncoming car head on. The other driver is thrown through the windshield and half through Ballard's too - and killed, splattering Ballard with blood. Ballard and the other man's wife are partially injured and left staring at each other.
As he witnesses the bizarre ritual of the crowds and the rescue, in a daze, he can't help but focus on details such as the woman's thighs and the fact she is involuntarily urinating. His mind muses that the ambulance man could take out his penis and jam it into his bloody armpit and it wouldn't seem out of place in this headlight soaked surreal scene.
I sat there, dressed in another man's blood while the urine of his young widow formed rainbows around my rescuers' feet. By this same nightmare logic the firemen racing towards the burning wrecks of crashed airliners might trace obscene or humorous slogans on the scalding concrete with their carbon dioxide sprays, executioners could dress their victims in grotesque costumes. In return, victims would stylize the entrances to their deaths with ironic gestures ...
Ballard has seen the horrific and surreal inside of the crash and he won't look upon the world the same way again.