Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Let's Get Fictional Part Three

Seventeen minutes left in the weekend, and I have delivered as promised. Unfortunately I cannot remember my username. So, I am sending this directly to you this time.

I was driving home from Key West. That was quite a trip. The weather had been awful for days. It was raining when I left Morriston the day before yesterday. It had rained while my pick-up was loaded, and all the way to Miami, and started again before I left the keys. I love the rain.

White line fever was setting in again, and I really needed a cup of coffee.

She made the best coffee I’d ever had. I can’t stop thinking about that woman. She struck me as gentle, yet purposeful in everything she did, and intuitive, somehow. I never understood women.

I had tried to make small talk because she caught me staring. It’s a bad habit I have, staring. I had just never seen anyone like this woman before, and I haven’t since, either.

“So, you do a lot of gardening?” The answer was more complex than I had been ready to think about. Something about volunteers and saving money and corrupt grocers. I’m not sure I got it.

“How much land do ya’ll work, here?”

“Five acres is quite a large garden, what all do you have growing?” Again, the answers escape me.

I was never good at small talk either. That comes from not asking too many questions. That’s why I get along with my employer, I don’t ask. I just get the job done.

She had asked what I do for a living. The answer is always the same, “I make deliveries.”

She had let the subject drop at that. I was glad, most people don’t understand. They will continue with, “For whom?”, or “What do you deliver?” Those are always awkward moments. This is the part people don’t get, but I can’t really say, “my employer prefers to remain anonymous,” or “I don’t know.” Better to be silent than to tell a lie about what I do.

Truth is, I don’t know what I deliver, and I don’t really care. The work schedule is awful, and the people I have to deal with are often less than inviting, but the money is good. Really good. And I never say who commissions my work, nor the name of my agent. Better to never look a gift horse in the mouth.

I sure would like another cup of that coffee. I sure would like to go back to that little farm. I sure would like to see her again. But, I had no reason to even be on that county road in the first place, much less to show up at the crack of dawn again, for a cup of coffee and a good conversation. She probably doesn’t even live there, anymore.

The sign out front of that little truck stop on 326 was a welcomed sight. I pulled around back and stopped the pick-up between two rigs. It never bothered me to park where the truckers parked. I figured I had the same CDL they had, and someone else probably needed the parking spaces out front more than I did. Likely as not, I needed the exercise, too.
I stopped by the store before going into the restaurant. I needed some aspirin, and a pack of gum. I considered buying a soda, but I’d be home in an hour or so. I would rather get some sleep. I did buy a bottle of water to wash down the pain killers. Then I headed for a corner booth.

I sat in my usual spot, right by the front windows. I like watching the people come and go. Call it a past-time. Some people see me watching, most are oblivious. No one seems to care, either way.

I read the menu for the hundredth time. It hadn’t changed. Not that I would have ordered anything different than my usual. I heard the waitress coming, but I didn’t look up.

Every hair on the back of my neck stood on end as I heard an unforgettable voice from the past. “Would you like some coffee?”

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