Fragment – Ch 15 – Eh There. Samaritan?
The feel of his foot pressing the pedal melted off linking he and the engine as two organs in the great being the truck became daily eh—New pavement the white lines the radio not yet turned on no need no no no no, still—but but. Threw small him bash into her counter she jumped sideways back it all went her book sucked down in a whirly whirl of shard noise; all hazy; and she yelled shit—I got the wheel again. That was like it like it would be be. Like if things it would came to be that. Out the horizon humped two black clouds the right slightly larger but the left the most frightening. So. Tunneling through the golden fields straight out ten miles. This is about he was where yes he this is about was where this is about where he was. Nice days for a drive. Who o’ heard of no driving driving job. Clear of shit as rain he’s full of shit. But me being raised to be nice Samaritan all of a onesie I brought the bad to Otto—yah that name that con hippo that that; used to when first driving actually actually count up the white lines boring down and did read; how bunchie-bout the ‘tings we get to read allwise now. Through the sucindial medium shit you know—dos nastybook an’ hasty-graims—but ho. I stood there like Otto be all those men in the ditch in the biblio-sammartino expected to story help out the where sammartinian men you in are their ditches—hey poppo hip. But it was wise sorta’ the otherwise rewound but hews whittlin’ at me truth or not hep? So, me stood the or will or perhaps never will, but—it’s a worth it time-passer when you’re out this straight flat was up past eighty. You will be here too, to slug him his butchery if he pulls something is what his hips said—ole Otto my mean—so. There’s the back of the hitchhacker. Bup. And Otto insists straight into him this; the word butchery gets me—also it gets me—hey “Horse”man play this boy the telephone and so, I sort of do. Cannot remember but let’s play like I do really do do d-d-d-d-d-o. The right shoulder on the hitchhacker shrugs up. So—Otto say he what so. Go on try butcher me but—go on try butcher me small boy but first turn ‘round look in the puss of “Horse” the big trucker. Hired muscle for this here job. And there’s eighteen more horsemen as this lined back his behind. You cannot see them. Guess why small creep. You cannot see them anywise more or less than this here book—and with that he slammed it shut—any more of less than looking at this here book cover can show you pages one through n under the neath of it. N being a variable. Like some math-head could appreciate. Like girl or boy blonde black or green or betwixt, or between, give you no clue that they might 1., be math prodigies, or 2., have extreme math anxiety. Know this Horsie-man without quotes—hey before we go any further does anybody does anybody love me—will shit self-distraction you love derailed my wholly whole be forever singly steel-trucked big traction-pusher et hey no of a train and, you see, little hitchhacker, that even if looking at the cover of my slammed-shut thousand-paged give or take couple billion old-school black and white marbled dime-store compositianian booke would let you down through, by some evil osmosis-like process your handlers far away sent you here armed with, I can distract you with this that or the other word-barrage and you will lose balance start to fall, forget you came here to butcher me ha ha ha to butcher me ha ha butcher me ha butcher and pull your cleaver raise it high, gentleman, and—“Horse’, your turn—Duck him!
What priest? That priest?
Yah—and “Horse” will grip forward the upper arms of the Kevin hoy hou and flip him back with the strength everyone has in any daydream and he skillets along lined up with the countless corrugations of the corrugated pale green ugly Lent truck stop dining room ceiling—making sure to avoid the braining striven for by the underhung latticework roof supporting steelwork, and arcing perfectly to hit the dead center of the hippomobile trading company cheap industrial use only flat screen TV hung over the intensely studious waitress obliviously studying her even fatter book that Otto’s cheap grade school version—and in the lastest lickitysplit of it the Kevin looked up saw it coming—much like the road coming at “Horse”, thought “Horse” that he ought to pay tension two at least that many instants and come awake. Too much dreaming and driving don’t mix and there’s totally no nix zilch sobre-reoroarity test for that impairment—but so did Kevin the flyer as he could accurately be called the last several splitinstants of his flight and face first it took him. As sure as the road coming at “Horse” face first planted in dodge that next white line tuck it under the carriage then the next and Kevin’s face pushed down the tabletop enough just enough to quake it down and pressurebend the glass fronted cake display space that shattered out, overstrained as it was, for just one instant-slice of the current now—and gripping the wheel—gosh, thought “Horse”—you can actually drive mile over mile without being at all aware of your grip of the wheel ‘cause—Kevin tumbled down into the stormpath of the glass sharding out very sharply—your body, what body, his body, their bodied are two in one gripping a wheel two falling to the floor three gasping with relief four caught in a hurricane five thanking God for his wakening before death six blown over after the glass shower by seven now lowering from the long white road arrows to the mile per hour meter and eight showered by chocolate caramel white cake and marble filthed down all over nine my God let off the pedal its reading ninety nine ten Lord God could have been worse for Kevin but eleven the waitress jumped back to avoid being crushed twelve and Kevin ah Kevin scrambled to his fee her fat college book flapped fluttering down and thirteen baker’s dozen beware beware the book beaned Kevin shattering o that the line she’d been reading being in many other parts of the world kings have been expected to regulate the course of nature for the good of their people and have been punished if they failed to do so shook free of the page which of course cannot be but after all after all what can we expect here at Lent Truck stop the fragile sentence hit the tile shattering into good many and Kevin slipped and fell again of the been in the laughter generated from “Horse” and punished the and Otto but failed if other they the nature to people it was not funny to the innocent waitress who their have expected of so world came around the counter in do for of to been regulate gripped up a great gob of what was left of kings parts a chocolate cake course better than Betty Crocker to boot and have shoved it in the Kevinface and “Horse” heard—“Horse” heard—himself laughing and figured, quite wisely, as the road coming past might as well not be, and, this not being a TV show showing the curious a first-person’s view of what bigrig running off into a peep-froggy supermudded sidewise ditchful of salamanders it seems time to run off at the next place might have coffee for sale. So; all handy here comes a sign-shout fresh bright gaily saying, Auxx-Coo the computational man – ALIVE!!! Exit 5a (Business) local access only puppy bottom industrial greenway. Truckers Welcome!
And below all underbottomed; clean beds – one quarter. Showers extra.
The dusk darkening at his fatigued eyes topped it off his foot off the loud pedal onto the brakerpushdown to the left turnoff and somehow all stopped the Samaritan having done its job in his tight flat face he stopped having sammartino’ed himself all successfully his feet pushed the Earth and it would not move so he was able to make the gate and the door came away the light told him; welcome, son! Said a big head of a woman behind her counter but here instead—so it wasn’t.
“Horse” said Hey, hello—it’s been a day, you know.
The boy’s room?
Out there—she did point out there then it et had-to-be-true so to speak and, in here moments, he stood balls out into a urinailian version of one common urinal. Hippo. So. So; so after letting go and feeling standing still again et; he turned riding his flush out to her and saw her for the first time. All normal. Her piercing smile made him say Thanks—hey. Got coffee? The sign said it maybe—I think. Hope so though.
Sure, yep. In there.
In there—she did point in there then it et once more had-to-be-true so to speak and in here, he popped down up into and out from the flow of a little Keurig machine loaded up with Donut shoppe—oh, shit—but. He drank it back, black. Back-black. Black. Back. So what? And he carried it back to roughly in front of her and took the drink lukewarm—having no choice, no option. Huh. Looking around the vestibule showed him nothing to idly walk at to read down over or look out into to seem casual and this was a problem because he was not. One step he took back at the Keurig told the counter woman he was tired tense and insecure enough to talk Hey, you look into bushed how many paying to see miles you cover today yet Auxx-Coo “Horse” turned half-relieved that the metaphorical ice had been broken—though that phrase is more properly used in reportage regarding awkward old-school first dates first crush of first time finally meeting a whatever of one’s dreams in a wherever place needing to seem man woman of the world he hippomobile, Ah, he said. Not sure. Maybe three hundred more or less.
And so where you headed?
I lay over at Lent Truck Stop. Know that?
Ah, yeah I think I have heard tell. You been on the road all morning?
Hey, you ought to go inside see the show. Air conditioned in there. Dim dark and comfortable. Ey listen, tell you what.
What, he said, as she rummaged in apparent unseen shelving behind the blank counted. Unpainted plywood studded with silvery nailheads oh uh no yes what he drank casually once more. What is she getting I have to refuse. Wants me to pay to go in is all. Cares I’m tired from three hundred oh sho’ no fo’ sho’—she rose with it it’s quite small a key. A key? Eh—
Here wait—and she came out from behind the counter to a door to the side, unlocked it, went through disappearing with the door open saying I will be just a second—sayeth the door actually, not her, she’s gone inside and. Sound of something densely rough-tumblin’ so, be curious—was commanded into him and—this had now been three minutes give or take three also and how. Given all her time. Given all her trouble—what she wants cannot be refused—uh. What the hell what the shit come on now hurry up, how much? Rummage clatter—how much. How much—slide and a slam but a tiny one. How much already but. Is she okay? How much it is is she quiet okay should I now go in but now give a second no give another the room was locked give a third fourth the room’s private won’t do to peer in perhaps. Perhaps just leave? It’s a paper cup. It’s mine to keep. Test it out. If I leave it is too quiet she may come out as I am leaving and then I will need to explain. Too awkward. Fifth sixth—If I leave she may come out as I am walking to the truck and she will come open the door call out and I will need to explain. Even more awkward. Ten and more. If I leave she may come out the door looking for me the instant I push home the key but before turning and then—I will be the rudest of the rude because I will have left, got in the truck, seen her at that moment waving fifteen perhaps and what is that? What is she waving? I will sit gripping the key. Twenty twenty-five and more over more turn three key twenty-six don’t turn the key thirty—but looking into the focusing yard long cone of air now between us—because here she is having come out waving it—what us that I must no pull the key open the door but—
How will I explain I had decided to leave her just as she.
Maybe perhaps if she speaks first.
How will I explain I had decided to leave her just as she comes out with.
Her mouth here she goes maybe perhaps she will speak first.
How will I explain I had decided to leave her just as she came out the door closing it.
Okay-yes yes yes—
How will I explain I had decided to leave her just as she came out the door closing it but why’s she coming out hey does she want to come alone hey hey maybe she hates this God-forsaken super forlorn nowhere at all place to be no yes—
Hey, here you go. Fresh ham and cheese hoagie. On the house! I made these this morning. My job you know—so hey go in take in the show its cool its comfy and plus, well, the show itself—et ut ho, hey—it’s a blast. A killer blast, and, for you, half price—ten bucks and I will even swallow the tax. What a deal. I would take it in a minute, ep.
You reach to say Okay but—
So how about you? Good enough for me. Is that good enough for you? Be careful and answer wisely. To answer no would be extremely insulting. But I would of course forgive you if that happened. The customers are always right. Even the ones who turn out to be pricks.
For one instant she grew twice times over impossible to say no to, fearsome, actually—and so—Yes, sure, he said, smiling signaling that of course—because it would be stupid and small not to—of course he knew her words were all a joke—and I even think I got exact change. Hey, yah, yeh. I do. How’s ‘bout that.
He thrust her the bill and it disappeared as she said, Well, sonny. That indicates it was meant to be—inside, now. That door back there. Show will start when you’re in. You’re second today! I think, you know—God has just told me we have been waiting for you. Quite specifically—but go. Tom’s waiting.
Nodding turning searching thinking okay yes there’s the door but waiting for me. Me! Quite specifically! How erudite eh eh--for such a one but “Horse “ walked into a mist of shame remembering being told Otto said trashy waitress bitch seven or more floors below me for—such a one meant that. Yes meant that! Otto! He did not want to be Otto, but—uh! The door here’s open it it’s a brand new unpainted door the faux brass knob’s brand new she’s watching so make sure to open the door like it’s not the first time you opened a door like it’s not the first time and you’re scared to death the ice will not break even though the cold knob the sledge turns the latch snaps over is fifty pounds the door comes don’t smack it in and the ice is tissue thin stale dry and brittle the dark appears the hoagie’s cold fresh and at the backside of the dark’s a lit stage—no napkin, shit!
Get hold of yourself in the dark one can fall!
Here’s one sit there. No stumble thank God.
Yes. “Horse” was fully bushed. So.
So. Let’s see this fucking show—the lights dim.
On the stage a portly man materialized some tricky way designed to think into the audience the belief he’d come out through the think air. Magically. “Horse” expects-who knows what. Best show’s the show you haven’t seen ten thousand. Best show’s the show’s that this times not the ten thousand first. The man raises paperwork slant front his chest. And, his voice sounds, smaller than it seems it should, based on his portly frame, signaling whomever the audience might be, to listen. Because it is low down dim in the mud of the noise always around each candidate spectator, which is never noticed unless it’s in the way of some effort to hear something nearly lower than a whisper—as he’s saying, Yes I am, I am indeed a Cobol Mainframe programmer of over fifteen years’ experience hup! To join Strong with strong analytical and design skills of over twenty-five more hup! I wish to join the excellently elite Auxx-Coo Consultancy. My experience as you can clearly see adds up to forty so far hup! Further questions sirs hup! Ook.
The man, apparently a candidate of some kind, now peered directly at “Horse” as though listening, for a few moments then shifted to look into the space off “Horse”s right, for a few moments bur the moments looking that way ran past the moments he’d looked this way—as this act played out “Horse” began working over and around the dark on his lap to open the hoagie using his right forefinger to seek the edge of the wrapper keeping it pressed lightly onto the wrapping as he turned the whole cylinder round with his left waiting for his right forefinger nail to catch the edge of the wrapping which—is typically the first step in unwrapping any tight wrapped cylindrical object in the dark of your lap in a dark theatre—movie or otherwise—looking at the stage at the man looking into the dark off “Horse’’s left—but such a long time where is this wrapper edge oh shit what kind of a show is this what where or who is he thinks damned who is he looking at thing is all taped down where is he looking eh tight oh shit but but all suddenly—the actor’s eyes stated to the same right spot, I am indeed able to work independently and deliver high quality results and have done so for over twenty years hup! To join Strong having been responsible for application design, development, code reviews, writing and maintaining programming documentation, project coordination, and deployment support for over thirty-four years hup! I wish to join the excellently elite Auxx-Coo Consultancy. My experience as you can clearly see adds up to ninety-four years so far hup! Further questions sirs hup! Ook—gosh.
The man looked into “Horse”’s face again as before—as “Horse” began seeking the end of the thin cheap off-brand cellophane tape this time by running the nail of his right forefinger along the length of the cylinder one way seeking the tape edge—and then rotating the cylinder slightly then running the nail of his right forefinger along the length of the cylinder the other way and after five such passes the actor again as before shifted his eyes to “Horse”’s right, and stayed there five seconds—no tape edge found shit—ten seconds and still—no tape edge found shit shit—twenty seconds now no edge thirty it seemed—shit forty shit shit then—
Hey. Want me to get that open for you? Hey, I don’t mean to intrude—but the sound of your struggling to open that hoagie is just—is just—just a little distracting.
(to be continued)