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Category Archives: rural towns

Sunday Trucker Mother F*cker

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This is a story inspired by a technical school class I am taking. The following is a true story and everyone involved is now dead. The name of the school is not revealed to protect the guilty.

Ross looked out the window of the truck and saw the remains of a squirrel, squashed flat as a pancake, and for a moment the life of that poor animal flashed through his mind; its desperate hunt for nuts as the days got colder, its incessant movements and struggle for survival as the nights grew longer and the days grew shorter, drawing nigh up to its last precious moments on this world as it stared wide-eyed into the oncoming lights of a car that barreled down the road at him, taking his life. A lone tear leaked from one eye and he massaged his temples lightly, trying to rub away the dizziness that overcame him nearly every morning for the last several weeks, his cold fingers trying to bring clarity to a mind that was becoming increasingly confused, muddled.
“Where do I turn next?” his partner, an obscenely fat man with an unusually high voice asked him, and he turned away from the window and met the other’s eyes. The fat man’s name was Richard, and for better or worse the instructors at the not-for-profit semi-truck driving school had coupled them up, no pun intended. While one of them drove the other navigated, and they went back and forth like this while they learned.
Ross glanced at the directions attached to his clipboard, a sentiment of ennui bristling through him like an arctic breeze. He’d been feeling more and more detached with every passing week, had felt the icy ache in his brain becoming a vast, empty hollow. He looked at the piece of paper without seeing it, then placed the clipboard on the floor of the truck.
“Take a left at Roehmer and head toward I-41,” he said flatly, an odd, vacant cadence to his otherwise usually animated voice.
“I don’t think this route takes the freeway.”
“Yes it does.”
The fat man looked at him questioningly but did as he was told, putting on his turn signal and moving over into the other lane when it was safe to do so. Cars whipped by at a frenzied pace as commuters went about their day, rushing from here to there. When they reached the sign for the on ramp Ross pointed toward one of them and said:
“Take 41 south.”
“I don’t think that is on our route-”
“Take it!”
“O-okay…” Richard answered hesitantly, creeping up toward the ramp, dropping into a lower gear. As he rolled around the corner he stole another glance at his partner and wasn’t sure what he saw there. “Are you okay?”
“Fine,” Ross murmured thickly, avoiding the other’s eyes. “Just watch the road.”
Every night for the last several months Ross had been awakened after only a couple hours of sleep by his arm or leg or hand or foot or shoulder jerking, spasms that left him completely awake. After about an hours time and he was about to drift off to sleep again another twitch would awaken him, and it would go on like this for the rest of the night. His sleep was gradually whittled down to approximately one or two hours a night, until last week, when the jerks started as soon as he closed his eyes. In the past seven days he’d had no sleep; his eyes looked hollowed out, his cheeks sunken in. When he spoke there was no life to his voice.
“You don’t look so good.”
“Just drive.”
The exit for College Avenue passed, then the one for Prospect.
“Which exit is it?”
The routes they’d been given weren’t that complex. Normally they went a few miles down the highway, exited, and then turned around and went back to the school.
“We’re going to try a more advanced route.”
“I’ve only been signed off for routes A through D.”
“You’re a big boy, I think you can handle it.”
Richard looked at him, his large brow furrowed, a frown creasing the folds of his cherubic face.
“We’re going off-route.”
“I’ll tell you when to turn.”
Another exit passed, and then another. Soon the downtown area was behind them and they were hitting the open road.
“Ross-”
“Quiet,” he said softly, massaging his temples. “I know what I’m doing.”
And he did all right, he most certainly did. It wasn’t an idea that had just come to him, no, it had formed over the course of the last week, all those restless nights while he couldn’t sleep, turning over and over in his mind like a giant, slimy worm, flopping around and around and around until he decided to do something about it.
Because, for the sake of the class, he wasn’t supposed to know, no one was. Finding out had been an accident, one of those things that just happened.
“You’re scaring me,” the fat man whined in a voice that was higher than usual.
“Okay,” Ross said at last. “Take the next exit.”
“Thank God,” Richard breathed and for a second Ross wondered why the man listened to him; surely he could have turned this thing around long ago if he was that worried, but he was such a spineless degenerate that he couldn’t do anything on his own…well, almost anything. He did manage one thing, a singular, compulsive act that was sickening and terrifying, something that made Ross’s guts churn.
The ramp lead to a rural road, a cornfield on one side, a soy field on the other.
“Take a right.”
“That doesn’t lead back to town-”
“Take a fucking right!”
“Fine!” Richard wheezed, his jowly chops shaking like gelatin, “but if anyone asks this wasn’t my idea!”
“I’ll take full responsibility,” Ross assured him, turning now to face him, “just like you have to do.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You know what I mean.”
“I’m afraid I don’t.” Richard squinted his eyes, looking at him perplexedly. “Are you sure you’re all right?”
“Never better,” Ross said. “Turn here.”
“I’m not even sure this is on a truck route-”
“Take a right turn now!”
“Okay!” And he turned the wheel hard, the semi wheels almost coming off the ground for a second as the awkward turn was executed at an unsafe speed. “Have you lost your mind?”
“No more than you.”
After he’d stumbled upon the old newspaper article his appetite was reduced to a shadow of his former self, that in tandem with the sleeping problem, which had come up entirely upon it’s own. But the two together…not only could he no longer bear to live, he knew this piece of shit beside him didn’t deserve to either. And he’d see to it, that was for sure. It all culminated to today.
“How could you do it?” he asked in a low voice, not really sure if he wanted to hear the answer.
“Do what?”
“She was only nine years old for Christ’s sake! You know you ruined her life, right?”
Richard’s massive head swung toward his, his eyes comically wide.
“How did you know that?”
“It ain’t exactly a secret buddy. Do the instructors know?”
“No one at the school knows…”
“Was it worth it?” Ross demanded, leaning closer and placing his foot over the others, pressing down on the fuel pedal.
“What are you doing?” The fat man’s voice was reedy, petulant. Fear showed in his eyes, emanated in waves from him like a foul odor, yet he clung to the wheel desperately.
“What the law didn’t, I suppose.”
“I did my time! I paid for what I did!”
“You can’t unfuck a child Richard!” Ross screamed in the other’s face, spittle flying from his lips. “You can’t take that kind of thing back!”
“Are you crazy? You’re going to get us both killed-”
And then it dawned on the fat man, clarity like a light bulb going on in a very dark room.
Good God, no…”
Over the hill down the road a piece was a stretch of the East River that was deeper and faster than the sedate portion that passed through town. The bridge that spanned it was old, the wood and cement a product of a bygone era, one that spoke of better times when men were men and women were women and little kids didn’t have to be afraid of their lecherous uncles, their unwanted advances, their sloppy, unwelcome drool that spilled over fat lips that looked like two slugs humping…
“Oh God, yes,” Ross confirmed, and by the time they hit the bridge and he spun the wheel the truck was doing better than seventy. As an airplane tore the sky above them to shreds and the miracle of life bloomed in every leaf, the sun burning hotly upon the trees with a fervor that was almost religious in it’s fanaticism he thought: here’s to the new day. And then the truck suddenly became airborne.

 

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Night Of The Zombies (And the Unattainable Hot Chicks)

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I’m standing in a club called ‘Excess’, a gay bar on Main Street in Green Bay, wearing zombie make-up and tattered clothes, wondering what the hell I’m doing with my life. The make-up artist and his girlfriend are on the dance floor shaking what they got as I lean against a wall and ponder my existence. First things first I did not choose this club; I agreed to come here because the drinks are cheap and nobody judges you, you are who you are. Gay, straight, zombie…none of that matters right now. I feel down because I wanted to meet someone tonight, anyone, preferably a woman, pretty, relatively young, but it is impossible because the make-up artist did such a good job that I am hideous. Beneath all this latex rubber and fake blood no one can tell what a handsome man I am, so I am drinking way too much and thinking about smoking a cigarette (I quit six months ago). Not that what I want can be achieved in this club; not more than two minutes ago I watched two chicks make out with each other in front of the bathroom while a guy in a full body leather bondage outfit lead another man around on a leash. The one on all fours was wearing ass-less chaps and a motorcycle hat Ala Rob Halford from Judas Priest.
My companions finish on the dance floor and we reconvene by the bar. We decide to leave, to go to the country saloon next door, and what the hell, right? Can’t get any worse.
We head over and people comment on the costumes.
“AAARRRGGGG!” I say convincingly, vomiting more fake blood by crunching a plastic capsule in my mouth that tastes like cough syrup.
As we navigate toward the bar I think about everything that has transpired tonight and it makes me more depressed. We started the evening at a party with so many beautiful women I was utterly overwhelmed. All taken, of course. And the guys they were with? Well, let’s just say there isn’t ad spaced reserved for them in Maxim Magazine for the next designer cologne. How did they get these gorgeous women? I wondered, and how did I get one? The world is soooo unfair.
No difference in this country bar: the place is wall to wall with smoking hot babes. Does the rest of the world know that Green Bay, Wi, is full of such amazingly stunning women? And here they are hanging all over beer-bellied guys in cowboy boots with obscene facial hair. I’ll say it again: “AAARRRGGGG!”
This leads me to believe that there is simply no point in carrying on, in continuing my useless existence. I give up, I’m throwing in the towel and calling it a night. I ask my friends what they want to drink and they profess to being drunk so I order a beer for me and two waters for them. The woman tending bar is nice to me but she outweighs me by at least sixty pounds. She is pretty though, and the fact that she is nice makes me smile. Hell, I could do worse than her. Maybe I should set my sights lower.
So I stand against a rail overlooking the dance floor, watching a guy dressed as the Joker strip a fur coat off of an otherwise shirtless, giant, hairy dude and proceed to lick his nipples and I wonder what they are doing here and why they aren’t at Excess. Is anybody seeing this but me? Yes, and no one seems to care. Do I care? No, not really, I just want to meet a nice woman who I can enjoy relaxing evenings with and have long conversations about nothing. I want to cuddle; I want to feel breasts pressed against my chest, warm, soft lips brushing against my ear. Instead I am alone, witnessing things I can’t erase from my mind if I want to, which I do, very badly
The evening comes to an end when the couple I am with decides they want to go. It’s probably all the hot women; he wants to get his girlfriend home and nail her. I don’t blame him. She’s a looker herself, all dressed up in a harlequin costume complete with zombie rotting flesh. I imagine they are going to have a mighty fine time, but I’m not, you know, imagining it. That would just be rude.
They drop me off at my place and we urinate (just the dude and I) on the lawn. Then they split and I give in to temptation and smoke a cigarette I bummed from someone at the country bar. Just another day in the life of a lonely man, a zombie all dressed down with no place to go…

 

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Happy One Year Anniversary!

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Today marks the one-year anniversary of this blog’s inception, and as I made my way through the day I thought I was going to post a nasty, sarcastic, scathing tribute. I’ve relocated from beautiful, sunny, San Diego to cold, rainy, snowy, cold (did I say that twice? Yes, yes I did) Wisconsin for starters, leaving behind a life I miss just about every day. There were many reasons for this move, but none of them seem very good when staring down the barrel of a Midwest winter. And while sitting in my car at a gas station this morning (aggravated, grouchy, out of sorts) my doors automatically locked and when I opened the door the car alarm went off and I couldn’t shut it off. The gas station attendant and his two teeth thought I done had sumthin’ wrong wit me. Then I took the wrong highway and wound up in some cow pasture, trying to get from Whitewater to Madison. Returning to Madison, my GPS lead me to a highway with a bridge out and refused to take orders otherwise to direct me around it. All of this happened after visiting one of my sister’s, a weekend involving a lot of outside activities in forty-degree temperatures and rain. It was no wonder two of her children were sick, I’d thought sarcastically, watching as she made a homemade apple pie while her youngest child continued to hack her lungs out into the batter no matter how many times my sister told her to ‘cover her mouth’. And the auction we attended left plenty to be desired; I told her quite frankly that if this were merely five years ago I would have been giving her ten shades of crap about this ridiculous, redneck activity that her husband (a very nice fellow, by the way) adored so much. In my opinion they couldn’t give that junk away, much less sell it, yet they did. Yes, it was with all this in mind that I was going to write an absolutely wretched piece that would involve nothing but insults and bitching about small towns and the inbred people who inhabit them, not to mention the Midwest, Wisconsin in particular.
But instead I am not going to do that, and here is why: I just read somebody else’s blog post (bluestockings19) and it was such a positive, uplifting message that I’d feel like a douchebag in comparison. I called off the dogs, so to speak, and am instead going to give thanks for my wonderful family and all the things about them that I enjoy and love. For anyone who reads this blog because of my narcissistic, supercilious, often downright haughty nature I most sincerely apologize for the turn of heart and assure you it won’t last. Everything still sucks and I am a grouch who wishes his debut novel The Gyre Mission: Journey to the *sshole of the World would sell so I can thumb my nose at decent society, trust me.
Be that as it may, thank you to anyone who has read, ‘liked’, or followed this blog. You have certainly made my year. Peace.

 

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