Trucking Feed

Where the Picture is Dark

Since I moved, I can't find my rear with both hands. Some of my books are in Oklahoma, and some of them are here, and many of them are digital. Some of my books are at school, and my dog ate the rest. I threw a bunch of stuff away, and I sent the wrong box of clothes north, so now I have nothing warm to wear; except that doesn't really matter because it's going to be in the 90's on Monday.

I never have a moment alone.

I have Vince walking around the apartment like a zombie looking for my secondary writing book; I offered him cash if he unearthed it someplace. We have clothes in the dryer, my sheets haven't been washed in two weeks, my dog needs his hair done, Vince thinks I am the worst parent in the world, and I have a whole new set of worries related to work that I haven't even mentioned yet.

The top of my dresser is stacked with baubles, clothes, cheap jewelry, and hair junk. My closet has one box for shoes, and one box for purses, and I haven't even had time, or the will, to dig to the bottom, or kick the boxes out of the way.

But, I am happy. So now I just have to find that book, get back on the pathway, and iron the 4 foot tall pile of clothes that have been stored on the right side of my dirty bed for two weeks. Then, at last, everything will be as smooth as butter on bread. Maybe then I could go visit a lounge, take Vince to a movie, act like a parent, meditate and pray, or take a nice drive in my cutie car.

I don't have any time.

Whatever happens in the next 24 hours, I know my responsibilities will continuously haunt me. I have the October blues, and there is nothing that can be done for November disillusionment, and the false hopes of post Christmas, the melancholy of January. The piles of paper, the demands of work, and the gains and losses of life are part of me now, like never before. If I lose, then I lose with a crowd.

This afternoon I hit the couch, exhausted, and I started to dream. I could feel the rumble of my truck, and hear my steel belts clacking away on the Lake Pontchartrain Bridge. I was alone again with my thoughts, dreading the scales, the cops, deadlines, and Houston traffic. I could smell the smoke, hear the music, and see the graceful deadly swamp with the mossy trees, and glassy black water completely at peace; but I was alone, and I was lonely, and the picture was dark.

Trucking Soliloquy on All Souls

Today the children are studying The Outsiders, a novel written by prominent Oklahoma author S.E. Hinton. In chapter 5 the main characters hop a train, and the young imaginations around the room ponder the possible destinations as if they themselves were fleeing authority on a ride into the unknown.

A bit bored by the hour after hour repetition, my own mind begins a bit of independent wandering. I am thinking about my bad luck with people.

I would drive my truck all around the country then return home; sadly, my journeys were always more about the people and less about the places.

Bitterly jealous relatives without any understanding of human decency, busily judging my life, like squawking vultures perched upon my shoulder sharing my view of the highway constantly pick, pick, picking away.

I grew so tired of their ridiculous questions, unfloundering ignorance, and snide suspicions. Most of them possessing no knowledge at all of where their food and clothes hail from, the endless ports of call around the continent, our massive transportation hubs, distribution centers, or the miracles performed each day by hardworking truckers.

Our transportation system, the finest in the world, and completely misunderstood by the general public, is the only industry preventing us from slipping into third-world status.

I think about the parade of former supervisors. The one with the pistol in his desk, the dopey, the cheap fraud, the guy with the wall behind his desk covered with continuing education certificates for trivial things like air brake safety and log book training, several cowards, and especially the men who encouraged me, and now applaud my achievements. As I stand on the brink of success or failure, the people who care about me are merely amused by the two-faced liars clinging to their misguided beliefs.

Whatever becomes of me, my child, my home, my image—the dishonest collection of thieving, petty, jealous relatives, and meaningless acquaintances, will surely fade into the tracks of proverbial nothingness, forgotten by the world, like snow simply drifting from the road.

But I have done something first—not once, but twice. And later, after all of this, I will find something else. And, once again, I will do it first, and I will not be forgotten. For this, I will suffer the vitriol, for, it is basically worth it.

The Politics of the Insecure Male

Working for most of my life in the trucking business has given me the opportunity to deal on a personal basis with all kinds of men. Some of them are complete angels, and not put off, nor a bit threatened, by little old me--the lady driver. These are men of great competence, and secure in their station of life. They have nothing to prove, and they are instantly aware of their lesser counterparts: the insecure male.

The insecure male has a great deal to prove. He is an incessant whiner, and two-faced in all respects. You will often hear him say, "Ain't NO WOMAN gonna tell ME what to do!" Not only that, women will always be held to a higher standard. For example, a male driver can get sick, freeze his load, or run over something, and he will always be excused. Making modifications, accidentally, or on purpose, to other people's property is always a right. Chronically in competition, he will fabricate lies to rid himself of any noticable female threat.

I am now dealing with a group of insecure males. I feel sorry for them because their efforts are so painfully noticable and pathetic. One of them, whom I usually refer to in my thoughts as "idiot," has a long history of drug abuse. Whatever it is he sniffs, has surely affected his brain cells. He really believes his pretense of humility is convincing to the masses. His charade is comical. We have seen this character so high he is literally walking on the clouds, but he isn't fooling me.

I relish with even more enthusiasm my latest, most notable, 'insecure male.' This guy is truly teetering on the edge of a full blown personal disaster because his politics are about to bite him in the rear. Arrogance is the norm, and he has convinced himself he owns the rights to works not his own. He will almost always overstep boundaries. He has forgotten he is simply an employee of a much larger enterprise, of which I am very familiar. He overvalues himself, by A LOT. You will often hear him try to sugarcoat the obvious...he will usually say, "Well, I was just trying to find out." In reality, he is on a mission to find fault with little old me.

Pondering the consequences of facing down my insecure males has lead me to believe I have nothing to lose. Truth is my friend, and I can prove I have been treated with outrageous disrespect, and constantly inconvenienced. The chances of me letting them reach their goal is nill at best. My advice to them would be to simply back off before they get screwed in a manner not typical for them.

I am such a likable and laid back character. I never bother anyone; but, for some mysterious reason, these insecure males have decided to target me. I hope they know what they are getting into :-)

Always remember, if my little tirade against the "insecure male" is making you uncomfortable, it is all just "tongue in cheek."

Casey Anthony and other assorted Liars

Frightening how many people will lie, and the lengths they will go to in order to twist facts and alter conclusions, but nothing lives longer than the truth. You can obscure the truth and hide it behind words, comments, and confusion; inevitably it lives longer than life itself. The truth is not one thing to someone, and another thing to someone else. The truth is the fact of any given situation. It is powered with physical and verbal evidence; it simply is.

Eye witness testimony has been responsible for the downfall of many an innocent victim. When the police want to convict someone for reasons beyond our understanding, then they foster the word of one who is willing to lie, fabricate, or otherwise manipulate the truth. The police will cherry pick their witnesses in order to slant a critical fact. The problem is, these liars come in all cloths, and we can never know for sure when one is willing to sell his/her soul. Most often it is someone with an otherwise failed life: an underachieving clerical worker, jailbird, or an attention seeker; sometimes, people lie for money.

Casey Anthony is simply a pathological liar. How do you get to that point? Maybe it starts with your parents, and maybe it is something she does for gain. Whatever the case, I believe we are primarily fascinated with her outrageously morbid lies. Her mouth outstages her actions somehow; it is so grossly false.

The lies the American public has recently witnessed are truly frightening in their scope and depth: Governor Arnold, Casey, her parents, Weiner....and on, and on! They are not generic, run of the mill fibs uttered from fear, or for cover. They are full blown horrific lies with severe consequences. In fact, these are the kinds of lies that ruin lives by the score.

My own life has been deeply affected by the lies told against me. I wish I could change the aspersions, the misconceptions, stereotype, and the completely false statements, cruel, and unconscionable people have wielded against my name. Maybe I still can. I am happy I have never falsely accused anyone.

In the meantime, I sit here horrified and fascinated, perplexed by the enormity of the lies around me. I wonder why, when the truth is so simple and clean, armored with its own physical evidence...the way it is. Casey Anthony, and others like her, will eventually realize the truth is never as elusive as they believe. It is in every corner of the lives forever. The evidence is undeniable. I am mystified.

No Time to Write

My life is just a blur of highway and work. I have one of the lowest quality existences known to humanity. I feel overwhelmed today, and angry, at all the lies I have been told. I am disgusted with the people who have lied about me. I am frustrated because I have no time to write.

I am irritated with Typepad and Google. Typepad for the service I have not received, and Google for messing up my email account.

When I want to start a new paragraph these days, my cursor gets I have to keep pushing the enter key until suddenly the cursor drops about 15 lines, and then I have to backspace it into place. I am SICK of that. It is a Typepad issue, I want them to fix it.

I am in a Starbuck's Coffee shack thinking of the long day ahead...a day in which I will run for free. I have hundreds of miles to cover.

With no time to write, I can't organize my thoughts, nothing is in perspective, and valuable ideas just slip away.

If not for the wretched and jealous small minded hateful bitches around me, I could be doing something else. I could be home at night, with time to write, enjoying my child, in a real home. Maybe soon...

Trucking: the onions are making me cry!

Today we are in Stockton, California, enjoying the cool weather. I drove out here from Utah over the weekend, stopping in Nevada for a night with the slot machines, breathing cigarette smoke, and sleeping peacefully until Sunday morning. We woke up to a hot breakfast, a friendly waitress, and coffee steaming out of an old chipped cup.

At the local discount store, I bought my son a jacket for one buck, sweat pants for two, and a microwave chicken dinner. We headed over to Donner's Pass and I told him the story about settlers cannabalizing each other, and my own nightmares at Gold Run. The snow was still deep around Tahoe, and the chilly rain followed us into Sacramento.

We are waiting on onions and cherries now...sitting in the driveway, listening to the weed eater. The sun is finally shining, and our gloomy weekend is over. Soon, we will be back in hot, steamy, Houston chatting about how wonderful and cool it was "up northwest."

Until then my child will read his books on the KIndle, play his little Nintendo game, and watch his movies on the flat screen. Everyday we take a nice walk, eat one restaurant dinner, and think about the days ahead when camp starts, then school, then fall break, then Christmas....

Hobbs New Mexico: Waiting on the Wind

Today we are in Hobbs, New Mexico, waiting for the wind to calm so we can go over to Texas and begin reloading tomorrow. The gusts are in the sixties, and the dirt is thick in the air, but life goes on in Hobbs with weathered tired faces, stringy flying hair, and shopping carts blowing around the Walmart parking lot.

The night before last, after a day of looking at the destruction in Joplin, I had a nightmare reeling for hours, continually looping, slow motion and chilling. A woman with penciled, arched, blackened eyebrows was staring at me from a dark velvet chair; yesterday I was stressed and couldn't get anything to go right, my mind would see her again, and again. I can see her now. She seems to represent the collective judgment of my neighbors and acquaintances, their misquided and filthy thoughts, illogical and ignorant; I have no use for their talk, ever so thin, without imagination.

Maybe the sharp dark woman is simply the weather girl, evil and merciless, pillaging the country with her tornadoes, wind, fire, drought, and floods. The warning in her arched brows is howling in the wind, around the corners of my truck, while my little boy watches his movies, and eats his dinner.

Tornadoes hit Oklahoma today bouncing vehicles off of Interstate 40, while my son and I battled our own wind in New Mexico. I thought of my dream, I studied her angry face, and I wished we were home with our car, and a beach towel, playing in the sand, watching the dog chase hermit crabs. Maybe soon.

Glad Osama is Over

Finally we have a little justice in the death of terrrorist Osama Bin Laden. In fact, for someone who loves the English language and poetic justice, it is all rather rhythmic. Obama executed Osama in Pakistan revealing a two-faced ploy beyond measure. At the same time the President silenced the multitudes who believed we had put a Muslim terrorist in the White House.

However, the plot thickens. Conspiracy theorists are not exactly hailing our chief; instead, they believe Obama martyred Osama, a theory beyond ridiculous.

Obama's blessing on the raid that killed Osama was not only political genius, and an amazingly courageous high stakes gamble, it also helps heal the wounds of uncertainty and grief the American public has struggled with all of these years.

I am still unhappy with Obama about aspects of the healthcare law, but he had the nerve to take on big insurance. You have to respect that, I don't care what your political leanings. I strongly disagree with his border policies and cross border trucking; however, I admire his savvy. Maybe Mexico's President should be considering the gifts we have sent his country (industry, trade, technology, cash, security, training) and soften his anti-American rhetoric just a bit. He is wearing out his welcome with the taxpaying public.

Whatever the case, I will never forget the night I sat in my truck at the Airline Market in Houston and decided to turn on my television. I flipped through several boring programs and decided to leave it on just for the companionship of voices in conversation. When the program was interrupted with the breaking news, I was overwhelmed with pride.

I drive a truck, all by myself, while women in those Arab countries fight to read a book. I handle my own money, own my own property, and work freely, and without much hassle, in a male dominated industry. I have been behind the wheel for almost 30 years. I have a college education.

In Afghanistan, and many other places, young girls are denied the joy of independence and education. They are not taught a vocation, and they are treated inhumanely, like objects.  I am so thankful I am an American. My life is not perfect, but I am free as a bird!

Thank you!

The Wind from Mexico

Right this minute I am sitting in the Petro Stopping Center at exit 37 in El Paso, Texas. The wind is blowing from the south, and the dirt is blowing up from Mexico, just a few minutes from here. I didn't take a shower yet, it wouldn't make any sense.

El Paso gets most of its wind from across the line where so many poor souls have been murdered. It's possible after a walk across the parking lot that you are indeed wearing someone's heart on your sleeve; but, it seems like nothing can be done to stop the violence. The handsome border patrol guys across the room are trying to do something, but they aren't sure what. The Sheriff's patrol in the back room talk shop, but none of their days are normal anymore. Local law enforcement, and the general public, has this horrible cloud hanging over their heads.

Recently, I read a story in the news (The Houston Chronicle frequently features pieces on border violence) about a young kidnapped man in a car trunk texting his family. Suffering and afraid, a victim of senseless and heartless cruelty, he was probably hungry, uncomfortable and praying for his life to be saved. I think he was later identified in a morgue, one of 70 or 80 bodies stored in a refrigerated trailer. 

Down here on I-10, us truckers live with the mountains, the mysterious desert, and the wind. I turn my radio onto Fox, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, and I hear "Libya, Libya, Libya, Syria, Syria, Syria," an endless chant of repititious news, but very little about the Mexican wind, the dust, or our neighbors, the tortured dead. When you consider the enormity of this problem, the lack of interest is perplexing.

We are not doing enough to help. We are not saving ourselves.


The Good Friday Load: The Petro Cashier

Today I stood in line beside a tall thin man and we gossiped together about the cashier working in the Petro. We wondered why he was tending a fuel desk, so strangely official and bankerish. Bald and polite, he is well known for his friendly chuckle, miscounted change, and pump mix ups. Speculating, we pondered his past while standing in line; we fabricated a story for our banker-like cashier, placing him at a mortgage desk at the now vanquished Washington Mutual. We watched patiently as he fumbled one exchange after another, until finally my turn arrived, and the room was suddenly quiet.

Well known for my sometimes outrageously rude comments, my cashier stood in suspense while I slowly rolled my request off my tongue. You could see the sweat bead up on his brow.

Peaceful and polite, I quietly said, "Pump nine please, just the ticket."

Obviously relieved, he printed up my invoice and handed it over the desk with a broad smile.

 Tomorrow is Good Friday, and I am feeling beautiful about a new spring. I think our banker is going to make it at Petro.