What is this about?

Five Minutes Left

All things considered, the Chevrolet Impala is amazingly watertight for an automobile. I, for one and only, should know being as at this very moment I’m sitting in said same vehicle — the ’94 SS model — as it lists hard to starboard in the oil-slicked and murky waters off a dock of what looks to be what once was Long Beach Naval Station. Hard to tell from this angle.

Forgive me if I’m a little groggy. Something must’ve happened at the Mayan last night. What a shame that it took the impact of the car hitting the water to bring me around.

And here I am. I’d tell you the time, but my watch is gone. Maybe they got my wallet, too. I’d check, but my hands being cuffed through the steering wheel prevents that.

Naturally, you’re curious as to how I wound up in this predicament. So am I. And the truth is I’m not quite sure. The last thing I remember was being at the bar and meeting this smashing woman named… what was it, Mallory? Mellanie?

Malena.

Yeah, that’s it. Malena. A name like a fresh sigh of wind. Beautiful name. Beautiful woman. A couple drinks shared with each other and some small talk. Then a suggestion to go someplace else. A nod. At the car, a smile shared. Behind the wheel there’s sudden, overwhelming wooziness. I feel her lean to me… for a kiss?

For my watch. A $3,000 Brietling. I catalog a vague understanding that I’m being rolled right before everything goes black.

The water’s in with me now. It’s cold, up to my lap and rising fast. The hood of the Chevy disappears under the surface. My eyes are at sea level and I look out into the blackness of the night sky only for a second before the water moves up over the windshield and the car is now completely submerged, groaning and slowly falling.

Back in here it’s up to my chest now, and I’m surprised at how calm I am for a brief and shining moment before straining and yanking frantically at the handcuffs and wondering in all seriousness if I can gnaw my own arms off in time to free myself. Logic takes over and flickers a question through my mind.

And how will you open the door with no hands?

Good point on a bad, bad day and suddenly there’s someone else in the car laughing like a sick, maniacal fuck, until I realize it’s me.

Water to my neck now and I’m breathing hard and pushing up so the side of my face is pressing against the fabric of the headliner. I swallow some sea water that washes into my