Wednesday, March 30, 2005

guilderland rest stop

truck stops have a certain magic all to themselves
it’s sort of like being in a really familiar, but foreign country
truck driving language is a cross between a verbal ballet and break dancing
for the most part, truckers are pretty ordinary looking,
on the flabby side with big sideburns
they swear loudly and show far too much excess luggage on the
lower parts of their bodies, but they always smell pretty good.
they sure can pack away the (fake) pork products though
i could swear i saw hundreds of arteries clogging in unison

marjorie says that running from things is not a good idea, but sorting things out is
but what if you drive to sort things out, i asked. when i come back,
i say my piece and i’m done
i don’t bury my feelings in a ditch on the side of the road in the back of beyond...

i wonder how many hot chocolates i can drink before i have to pee - this is number 3.
there are new faces at the counter and the waitress is tired and cranky
she wishes she were almost anywhere else, but smiles – genuinely
when one of the truckers says something nice to her
she wants to ask me a question but doesn’t want to invade my silence
her curiosity will get the better of her soon, i think

32 miles south of lake george is a little town called northville.
my grandfather built a cabin on a hill over-looking the Great Sacandaga lake
last year my drunken mother sold the cabin for a Crown Royal
to who knows who – have i told you this before? i can’t remember.
but i found my way down the twisty driveway that’s half asphalt, half dirt
and passed over a wooden bridge that put me right in front of the house
that jack built. his real name was jacob, but no one called him that
i left my high beams on and walked around the over-grown grounds.
i could hear the water at the bottom of the hill and the air was singing it’s natural symphony.
i even heard the bullfrogs croaking a hoarse, off-key duet. down to the lake and i could hear fish popping up through the skin of water to either breathe or feed on some lingering insects skimming the surface.
i wondered about the snapping turtles that had always lived by the beach.
they’d be almost as old as me by now.
it was so peaceful that i didn’t want to leave, but i finally made my way back up the drive and onto
the Thruway, and here i am at the Guilderland Rest Stop.

the waitress, annie, finally got around to asking me what my story was. i told her i had no story.
she said honey, everyone has one. so i said that i was between one place and another. she looked disappointed, then disbelieving, so i added quickly – i lost my best friend. she nodded and patted my shoulder.
sorry, she said. was it quick? i said no, that it had dragged on for a few months and finally it was real. she said you poor thing. i said no, not really, we can still visit one another. just not like it had been.
she nodded her head and said how far? i said pretty far. she nodded again and said try not to be sad
then she poured more coffee for a trucker named Al who was pulling
an all-nighter to get to memphis to see elvis. again.

i’m trying not to be sad,
really i am


da mountain said...

Still reading, sweetness.


sonja said...

sooner rather than later
i hope to be singing
a prettier song...