Right now I’m driving on I-87 in the rain, and after many years of deliberating over how I would like to die, I have come to this conclusion:
I am not getting killed by a truck.
Though the eighteen wheeler to my right seems to have other plans, I have made a solid decision for once in my life, and I will stand by it. In the last three minutes, I have become very passionate about this cause, but I would not like to dedicate the rest of my precious life to it.
A few hours from now, presuming I make it to the end of this journey, there is the slightest possibility that the rogue death-trap pilot in question will read these words while sat on the sticky plastic of an interstate rest-stop bench.
As you read this Medium post in your cozy, Jersey Turnpike hell-hole, sipping a McD*nald’s coffee out of a tasteless paper cup, I want you to think, dear Driver, about that eighteen year old girl you nearly rammed into the highway median.
You remember me, don’t you?
I was the one with the crazed, eleventh-hour-eyes of someone about to meet their maker, desperately searching for answers.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I am aware that the Truck Driver Demographic makes up a large portion of my audience, and I feel no need to alienate them, but each of them are individually the worst person on the planet. Statistically, this should be impossible, but life finds a way.
I have illustrated the data below.
Anyways, back to my very real and rainy plight.
As the wobbling truck chaperones its precious cargo of Supermarket Green Beans to its destination in Bumbleschmuck, Iowa, I am very quickly being pushed toward the left shoulder of the road. I skid severely, white knuckles on the wheel, and feel the aggressive bzzzzt of the grooves in the asphalt.
The aforementioned beans may make it to their journey’s end, but I will soon become one of many casualties of the Green Giant.
My feelings of panic somehow turn to sympathy as I hit 70 miles per hour, trying to escape the truck’s path. My thoughts stray to the man maneuvering the eighteen wheeler.
“When was the last time you saw your family, Truck Driver?” I think.
I hit 75 miles per hour.
“Do you even have a family, John, the Truck Driver?”
80 miles per hour.
“Did you abandon everything you knew and loved to take up this unglamorous life, traversing the American Interstates, John, the Truck Driver??”
“I feel so sorry for you, John. I’m feel sorry for all you have lost.”
The rain is getting heavier, and John’s journey between lanes is growing more experimental. I snap back to reality, and brace myself.
Though I send you great sympathy, John, I would like to return to my original point:
I am not.
By a goddamn.
I hit 90.
I signal right.
I finally pass John, my almost-murderer.
My jaw unclenches.
Maybe, he was swerving because he was distracted by a phone call from a long-lost lover he left behind, years ago.
Or maybe, he was listening to Bennie and the Jets for the fourth time since crossing the New York border, and he was too busy lip syncing to notice my plight.
Though I encourage this type of wholesome fun, and I too, enjoy a good Elton John bop, I would like to hear one again.
You, with your presumptuous box-truck.
Me, with my 2010 toyota corolla.
Oh, the places you’ll go.
Oh, the cornfields you’ll see.
We’re not so different, you and I, John; we both love lines.
Me, writing them.
You, crossing them.