El Paso Passing (4) – or Meet Mr. Trucker


Mr. Trucker stares at Bryan and shakes his head “no” again.  I keep smiling till my cheeks hurt.  I don’t know what changes his mind, but he says, “Only to El Paso.”

First thing Bryan does is hop into the back of the rig.  He flops down on a cushioned lump behind a curtain.  It forces me to ride shotgun.  It’s creepy up here, and all I can see is a bunch of levers and dials and devices.  It reminds me of Doctor Frankenstein’s laboratory, but Mr. Trucker isn’t wearing a lab coat.  He’s wearing overalls and a filthy baseball hat.  Some sort of sports team, I think.

Mr. Trucker starts the truck.  It pops and jilts like an airplane when it takes off.  He mumbles something, but all I know is I don’t like him.  He talks too fast, and I have no idea what he is saying.  He’s missing some of his teeth, and his pink spotted gums stare at me when his mouth moves.  We pull out of the truck stop with a lurch and hit the vast, empty road.  There’s nothing out here but blank, brown fields and telephone wires that must run all the way across the world.  I count the telephone poles until the sun slips away and darkness swallows the truck.  The hum of the warm engine, the wheels churning against the road rocks me to sleep.

Mr. Trucker clears his throat impatiently.  It jolts me from a deep, hard sleep.

“Been asleep an awful long time, Missy,” he says.  “Thought you was gonna keep me company?”

I’m half-asleep and bleary-eyed, but traveling has taught me to jump awake at a moment’s notice, to pull it together because a ride might be picking you up or kicking you out.


3 Responses to “El Paso Passing (4) – or Meet Mr. Trucker”

  1. 1 candace

    is this when you went to California and met Shen? Remind me to tell you my story about hitch hiking from Madeline Island to Berkeley with my friend Sunshine when I was 17. I love, love, love hitch hiking stories

    • Yup. This is the path to meeting Shen. I’d love to hear about Sunshine sometime. Maybe you should start a blog yourself.

  2. This one makes me sad. You have had too much harsh treatment in your life

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