In a previous entry, I had given the opening of an ongoing story I am writing that hasn’t yet reached it’s end point and hasn’t yet been edited.
I think some people read that piece of writing and jumped to the wrong conclusions and got on me in part for it — others were just bored to shit and didn’t know what to make of it.
I’m posting the next little snippet just to keep myself occupied….
“My name’s Harry, I suppose I don’t look at all like you would have imagined the driver to look if he stopped, do you?” He spoke in almost a comforting tone. Peter simply shook his head in response. “Yeah, well, I got tired of living without seeing as much as I’d like so I decided to try out long haul trucking for a while. I’m really growing to like it. I’m a writer by trade, though.” Peter shot him a look of surprise that made Harry laugh. “Yeah, it’s true. Been a writer for 34 years and didn’t ever leave D.C. in order to do it. You look at the paper and see the bullshit they write in it, you get ideas. You take trips around Virginia or Maryland, or maybe go up to New York by train and tour around Manhattan, you get more ideas. You watch the Redskins win the Super Bowl with a quarterback some dumb bastard was too racist to sign, and you get even more ideas.” He grinned broadly at this and Peter let out a chuckle and felt at ease.
After Peter introduced himself, he was asked about the car, “It’s dead in the water. I mean no response at all from the engine or anything else. I couldn’t even get the hazard lights to work – just the ‘Service Engine’ light on the dash.”
“How long have you been on the side of the road?” Harry asked.
“Not long, maybe a half an hour.” Peter replied while rubbing his eyes, wearily. “Thought things would improve when my eyes adjust to the darkness but….”
“Your eyes aren’t going to adjust to the shit out there tonight.” Harry scoffed in response, “It’s black as black and the weathermen are talking about a foot of snow by dawn. Major blizzard. You would have been buried in it if I hadn’t shown up.”
“Shit…” Peter could find no better response.
“Where were you heading at this hour anyway? I didn’t think anyone took these back roads in the middle of the night except me, it’s the only way to get around the cops watching the interstate and trying to rack up their quota of speeding tickets.”
“Escaping,” Pete said in a sigh.
“From what?” Harry asked with a concern in both his voice and on his face.
“Pain.” Peter looked back and if he had seen his own face, he would have been sure that someone had been killed. In essence this was the truth, but it was part of him that was the recently deceased.
They rode on in silence for a few moments before Harry asked if he wanted to talk about it but Peter shook his head solemnly, “I don’t even want to think about it right now. I just want to focus on the problem at hand – the car and getting that thing running again.” He slumped in the chair. “How the hell do you stay awake in these things?” He put up an uneasy smirk, “This has got to be one of the most comfortable chairs I have ever sat in.”
“Practice,” Harry shot him a wink and then focused back on the road, “We’ve got another hour before we get to where I have some buddies that can help your situation out at this hour. You really got yourself in the middle of nowhere, Pete… Go ahead and curl up and get yourself some rest. I’ll wake you when we get there.”
“Thanks, Harry. I really appreciate this.” And audibly Peter’s voice turned from pained to exhaustion, “What time is it anyway?”
“Around 4:15 in the morning,” Harry spoke after glancing at the digital console on the dash. He glanced over at Peter one more time but Pete was already gone the way of slumber, his head resting comfortably in the chair and eyes closed shut. The Mack’s engine and hum of the tires against the asphalt only pulled him deeper into sleep.