At the hospital Thursday evening, everybody has gone but Cook and one newsman. Art lies on the bed with fat cotton swatches taped over his eyes. In the accident, upside down and with his goggles ripped away, he had skidded along the salt on his face. Both cheekbones were rubbed raw, and the crash had pounded salt up under his eyelids and scraped the corneas. His face is swollen in huge, red lumps.
"You saw me get upside down, huh? All I know is that I looked up and saw I had drifted to the left of the line, and I figured it was the wind, so I corrected her. Maybe I overcorrected...."
He twists uncomfortably on the bed. "Thing that really saved me is 15 pounds I gained from eating too much. I was crammed into that cockpit so tight I couldn't even move a muscle. You there, Jim?"
Cook nods and touches one of Art's forearms.
"Leather jacket saved me, you see? Not a scratch on my arms or body, right?"
"Right," says Cook, blinking his eyes.
"I'm still here."
"Hey, Jim, I think maybe I'm gonna fly back home and not drive, huh?"
"Hell of an idea," says Cook.