Talking to Myself

Early morning. Dark. Climbing a long hill in Pennsylvania at 40 mph in a heavy tractor-trailer. Being passed by annoyed motorists who had to make an effort and change lanes. The black bulk of the hills all around me stand out only faintly against the indigo sky. The moon hangs low in the sky, one fifth shy of full. I look out the window, hoping for stars. There are only a few. So I listen to the rhythm of the truck. The humming of tires. The percussive rumble of the engine. The random rattles in the cab. The soft tinkling of a metal clothes hanger knocking against a plastic one.
The sounds make me sleepy. But I’m always sleepy. I’m sixty miles from Scranton. I don’t want to think about how far it is to Plainfield. Connecticut is a world away. I should turn on the radio. Put in a CD. Fire up the iPod. But I like the silence. Just me. And the truck. And the familiar rhythm of going from one place to another. Somewhere between the shipper and the consignee. Somewhere in the darkness between dusk and dawn. Somewhere in Pennsylvania. I find myself. And this time, at least, I will not look away.
This time I will nod, if not smile. Hello. How are you? How have you been? It’s good to be here. Nice to see you. If you don’t mind, I’ll linger for a while. Be with you. Sit by you. Maybe somewhere in the cacaphony of the soft, random sounds we call silence I can hear the beating of your heart. And if you’re not looking I might chance a smile, glad as I am to know that in spite of your best efforts and most passionate desires, you are still very much alive.
Yeah. I’ll sit here quietly, and just be with you for awhile.

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