The Night and The Road

Picture finally. El Paso Truck Stop WiFi FTP Blues.

The last bits of evening sun seem to only fall on the lake. Every wake, cats paw, and ripple is dark black against the color. The trees and the hills smudge into the background. Pinks and Purples and Oranges of every variety rip across the clouds. No time for the camera. I'm driving a heavy load of glass. Mirrors or something bound for Arizona.

By the time I cross the next valley the light is gone. There is nothing but flatness in North Texas. I can see towns in the dark from miles away. Streetlights twinkle across the valley; like spilled marbles.

Driving along, I grip the wheel like a skeleton, in some cave, clutching an obelisk. The dry sinew creaks and cracks as Indiana Jones, or some other intrepid explorer, pries it from my boney fingers. In the dark, I see a doe on the shoulder of the highway. My senses crackle to life. Where I come from, deer travel in pairs. Miles later a coyote skitters across right in front of me. I remember my dogs running around the kitchen. I imagine, if I could have heard him, the coyote sounds like that on the tarmac.

There are so many bugs out here on the plains, plastering the windshield. The road becomes something I can sense more than see. I had stopped to wash the windows at a little truck stop. The handles were so short on the squeegee that I opened the hood and climbed up on a tire to reach. Hanging on a frame member and stretching over the churning diesel, I am just spreading bug guts around. I got that much from the windshield wipers earlier.

I slept through Memphis as my trainer was driving. Probably not much to see from the highway. Tomorrow we cross New Mexico. Tucumcari is one of the first towns. Tuc is in a cool song called "Willing." It's a Little Feat song, but I think I've heard a Steve Earle version. Everyone should listen to more Steve Earle.

It is a different life out here. Another version of vagabond, so I'm comfortable. It is tough to do normal life from the road. Trucks can't go on just any road. Shopping becomes difficult. Ralph calls grocery shopping "marketing." I love that. Marketing is tough from the road.

The night is surreal, but its also just a job.

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