“Jerry, we are going to have to be good the seats are too small for both of us,” I said.
“Well there have been an awfully lot of cherries popped in the back seat of a car,” he said.
“I’m not sure those people were almost strangers. I need to get to know you some.” I said. Yeah it was a lie, but it sounded better than I don’t feel like fucking you. You are just too nice a guy for me.
“Well we need to get some sleep then. We need to be on the road early. I want to get to the buyer by 3 or 4 PM. With a full 10 hour drive to go, we need to be our of here by 6AM at the latest,” Jerry said seriously.
“Right, since you are driving, why don’t you sleep in the back seat it looks like it’s set up for it,” I said. It was too, there was a plywood frame with foam rubber pad on top where the seat should have been. It would pass as a bed as well as my bed in the carriage house.
“You can have the bed,” he said.
“I would rather have you rested, since you are the driver. I’m just that selfish to want to live,” I reaffirmed my preference.
“Okay,” Jerry said.
I have no idea how Jerry managed, because I was asleep within ten minutes. Even the coming and going of the 18 wheelers didn’t wake me or cause me to sleep any less sound than my usual oblivion sleep mode.
At five o’clock I heard the back door open. I knew that it was time to get up and start preparing for the day. I reached out from under the cover of the two blankets and found that it was chilly. It was still early in the summer months so the night were just a little chilly.
I slipped on a pullover and carried my toothbrush, soap, washcloth and clean underwear with me to the bathroom. I couldn’t shower, but I did manage to wash with some soap and hot water. I felt much better after that wash and some clean underwear. The clean tee shirt didn’t do much since the jeans were from the day before. What saved them was that all I had done was ride in the truck.
“Wow you look great. I wish I could look that good at five AM,” Jerry said.
“Thanks, but I don’t feel as though I look great. I just feel about half drugged. We are getting coffee before we get on the road aren’t we?” I asked.
“All you can drink,” Jerry said. “Come on we are off for the truck stop about two miles up the road.”
Jerry pulled the truck out of the public rest area and headed off in a more or less northerly direction. As Jerry had said the truck stop was only a couple of miles. While he filled up the truck with Diesel fuel, I went inside and found a seat. I ordered coffee and waited for Jerry to join me. I looked around and noted that the room was filled with at least 99% men. Well it was a truck stop, so I guess that was to be expected. They way they looked at me, I felt like a big mac at a animal shelter. Okay, I admit that their hungry stares had a effect on me. The feelings were a little flattering, I had to admit. Still I was glad to see Jerry walk through the door.
“So what is good in a truck stop restaurant? I’m not sure I ever ate in one,” I said.
“It’s my experience you can’t go too wrong with bacon and eggs,” he said.
I nodded and when the waitress came I said to her, “I’ll have your hungry lady breakfast,” I said.
“We don’t have one, just the hungry man,” she replied.
“Well that’s kinda sexist, but I’ll have one of those with over medium eggs,” I said smiling.
“Give me the same, but make the eggs scrambled,” Jerry said. Jerry turned to me after she left. “I’m going to buy breakfast. Don’t argue, I’m going to make you earn it. You said you drove in the Army?” he asked.
“Actually it was the Air Force, but yeah I did some,” I said.
“How about when we leave here you drive till lunch,” he suggested.
“Sure, I don’t mind driving.” I really didn’t mind. I assume he had good insurance and I wasn’t going to do anything to his equipment, so I expected to do just fine.
After breakfast I carefully pulled the truck out of the drive through parking space and headed it toward the highway. “You have to remember, you have a twenty five foot trailer behind,” Jerry said.
“It would be more helpful, if you told me how it brakes and accelerates,” I suggested. From the 6AM breakfast till the 1PM lunch I listened to Jerry act like a father teaching his daughter to drive. When we stopped for lunch I asked him, “Jerry did you ever drive JP4 jet fuel tanker through an ambush?” He just gave me a blank stare. “Well I have, If you want me to drive again, remember that please.”
“I’m sorry but this truck is all I have. It’s my only means of earning a living,” he said.
“Then hun you shouldn’t let anyone drive it, no matter how bad you want in her pants,” I said.
“Yeah, you are right. I’ll drive the rest of the way,” he said.
“I think that is an excellent idea,” I said it without any anger or hurt in my voice because I didn’t feel either. I just felt that he needed to be more honest about how he felt.
After my burger and fries, we were back on the road. Getting the truck through the traffic around the fast food restaurant and back onto the highway was a major accomplishment. I was secretly glad I didn’t have to do it.
The next three hours were uneventful. It was shortly after 2PM when Jerry used his cell to call the customer. “Hi there, this is the man delivering your Nascar rolling chassis. We came up from South Carolina. We are a day early so I’m just calling to let you know we are about an hour out. I wanted to give you a chance to make it to the bank, if you needed to.”
Jerry listen, then said, “Very well, we will bring it to the address you gave me on the shipping order.” Jerry turned his attention to me. “I love it when it all goes smooth.”
“Well I’m happy for you. This one wasn’t so bad even sleeping in a rest stop wasn’t as bad I thought it might be. The weather is nice for one thing.” I said.
“Yes we have had nice weather,” he said.
We arrived at the address and I found it to be a fast food restaurant. I’m not sure that Jerry knew that part of it either. Rolling the chassis off the trailer was a lot easier than loading it had been. The loading of it wasn’t hard at all. The unloading was giving it a push. Nothing more was required of us.
“Man that is great.” the new owner replied. “It really does look good sitting there.”
If you say so, I thought. To me it was just a car with a garish paint job.
Since we already had the truck parked, we decided to eat in the place. Now the damn place specialized in chicken, so I ate chicken strips, that could have been anything. All I actually tasted was the breading and the veggies. It wasn’t too bad for a 4PM snack.
“So what do we do now,” I asked.
“Now we look for something in the midwest going east,” he said. “There are two shipments that are possibles. They both go up for bids tomorrow at nine.”
“Okay so where are we staying tonight,” I asked.
“You aren’t going to like this,” he said.
“Oh I’m sure of that,” I agreed with a smile. “I just have this to say, remember Chicago is the murder capital of the world right now. Don’t ask me to sleep in a Walmart parking lot.”
“No way, on line I found a truck park, just south of here. We can spend the night in there, and decide tomorrow morning where we are going next,” Jerry said. “According to their site, they have showers there but no bedrooms. It means another night in the truck. If I’m going to make any money it has to be this way.”
“I told you not to worry about me Jerry. I have slept on the ground, without a shower for days. I can survive this kind of thing no problem.” I said.
“Okay, then I’ll stop apologizing for the accommodations,” he said.
“I wish you would. So lets get to this park thing and check in. I am ready for bed.” I said. “It’s been a long day.”
“Right,” Jerry agreed. “We have to get some food and coffee and soda to take in with us. They don’t have any restaurant service. It’s pay every time you enter. So the trick is to go in only one time.”
We stopped at a convenience store on the same side of the road as we were headed. It was pretty easy in and out. I bought a mini cooler full of ice and some diet cokes to put in it. I also got a small jar of peanut butter and a bag of those chocolate iced Little Debbie donuts. I never snacked without protein. I convinced myself that peanut butter on the those little, one mouth full donuts, was healthy. I could delude myself with the best of them.
I had never heard of a truck park before. I had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be nothing more than a giant fenced in parking lot. One that could accommodate several big rigs. One could pay them twenty bucks and park his or her rig inside the fence and get a hot shower as well.
There was a guard shack with an armed guard on duty. There was a second guard who patrolled the parking area. It was my guess these were popular in the high crime areas of the country. By the number of trucks in the lot it would appear there was plenty of business.
Once we were settled into the front bucket seats, we tried to spend some time communicating, The conversation ran out after half and hour. “So what do you usually do at night on the road?” I asked.
“You want the truth?” Jerry asked.
“If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have asked,” I replied.
“Okay, I usually plug my lap top into the outlet on the dash and find out if I’m in a hot spot.” Jerry said.
“And if you are?” I asked.
“I either watch movies or go to a chat room,” he said.
“I like chat rooms. I don’t usually watch movies on the computer. It’s too hard to concentrate for some reason.” I said. “It can’t hold my attention long enough to keep the story line straight.”
“Oh I see. Well Sylvia, the kind of movies I watch don’t have much of a story line, You can pretty much understand them without much thought,” he said with a laugh.
“Oh my, are you talking about pornography?” I asked.
“Yes, I am afraid so,” he said. “Have you ever seen any?”
“Sure, it just wasn’t very much fun watching it buy myself. Some of the things were so humorous they just demanded some kind of comment,” I said.
“Well shall we see what you think of the places I know about,” he asked.