Late-whenever

 

So that he would not feel alone, so that he could hear himself over the hum, when there was nothing but jibber-jabber and squawk and after 600 miles, so that he could sill hear himself after his talk with the empty road or the seat next to him all day…

Mark ya know, he’s on that long-haul life stretch day-in and night-out. Truck drivers don’t get no rest, hardly at all anways. Most of em’ll talk to anyone or anything just to keep em out the lonesome company of their mind and the hard top flyin by at sixty, same speed as the second hand on a clock. Hell, Mark had a 2,000 minute callin plan for his cell phone jus so he could shoot the shit with any one who’d send it back at em. He’d talk yer ear clean off for you could get to the point of any thing—highway’s got a whole lota talk an stories an miles without a god-damned end to any of em.

Late at night or late in the morning or late in the afternoon, don’t matter since ain’t no regular time when you pull off for a rest it seems, always late no matter what time after you jus driven 14 hours an been pissin in a jar an drinkin Redbull to keep it up. Anways, Mark here, he likes to pull of at the truck stops rather’n the side of the road, likes to see the other people, see what it’s like not to be him for a while. So Mark, he gets back there to his rig like most of em, stale tobacco hitten him in the face when he climbs in but he don’t notice it no more. He gets in the back of that sleeper cab there, by himself ya know, and he don’t wanta listen to no more god-damn radio anymore, 14 hours’ enough. Lately though, ya know, he’s been so sick of the road an all that queer chatter-talk on the box that ain’t meant but to go nowhere but with ya, do nothing but fill that space ya jus now left behind ya, fill it with somethin that lets ya forget to worry about what the meaning of that space was, helps ya forget ya see…

But mark, somehow there’s all that space, every mile of it whooshing into the back of his head and the sound don’t make no sense, not like the sound at the beach whoosh-whoosh, this sounds more like the wind an a scratchy noise, itching at the back to have a voice somehow. So late-whenever, with the curtains drawn behind the two seats, an Mark, with no one and no thing to cover that strange, dry, guttering-sputtering, of the 600 miles chit-chatted into the soft deserts of the beyond. That space Mark has a need to understand an all the meaningless jabberwocky and wala-wala can never even by repetition rub it off from the back of his mind.

So what he did when that space day-in and night-out, started to fill up like a balloon or a latex glove or the condom he had in the glove box that hadn’t seen light in months, when that space was about to explode like a double-barrel shotgun, like the one he held to his mouth just to see what happened next not to long ago, just before that, he’d get out this old notebook he carried around to keep track of his miles an hold-over times, he’d open it up from the back and start to pour out those miles of noise and no-endings, he’d give em an ending, and a god-damn meaning whether it mattered to anyone else or not. The whoosh-whoosh ebbed and instead there was this thing that was kinda like a story, something that made sense sometimes anway. It’s what he needed ya know, since that rollin stone don’t gather no moss ain’t no way to understand where its been and what it’s been through, seems the same to all the other rocks its goin by as the day it started tumbling down its path, don’t matter to it too much where it ends up probly, not to Mark anway, since now at least he can hear the road and the hum and it makes him smile to think bout how it’ll sound when he gets in, late-whenever.

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