The road

Snow.

Ice.

Rain.

Fog.

Chicago.

Atlanta.

Birmingham.

Pecos.

Los Angeles.

I met her at at truck stop in Ontario, California. She wasn’t your usual highway habituée, in that she drove a truck. A semi. A tractor-trailer.

Seventy-nine tons of metal rolling on rubber.

Seventy-nine tons of metal rolling through a never-ending litany of towns, cities and truck stops; along multi-lane expressways; down interstate highways; over two-lane blacktop.

Across a table we shared stories of riding and driving and the road, stories of characters met, of people seen, of things heard.

Stories of loneliness.

Then it was time to go.

“I’ll call,” she said, “the next time I’m in town.”

*     *     *

She called one time, and I rode out to meet her.

She called again, and I rode back to love her.

She doesn’t call any more.

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