Without Sleep

She has a pretty face, – but crooked somehow like she was in a terrible accident, and the scars have healed beautifully.

Phlegmy voices rumble out polite requests for more coffee!

– more coffee!

… and a, check please!

She pirouettes behind the counter deftly pouring Sanka into sturdy, bone-white cups; pausing just long enough with each of us, – smiling just long enough to make us feel a little bit human

My hands hurt

We call each other “Hand”

Not driver

Not trucker

And definitely not “good buddy”

Hand

… and my hands hurt

I tap a Lucky out of the pack, and even though it feels like I’m wearing boxing gloves I manage to flip out my Zippo – and spark the flame open

To my left there is a flannel clad Buddha named Bubba talking about his hemorrhoids and the emaciated Prince Siddhartha to my right is telling a Cajun about his stomach problems …

I have to put my attention back on my hands, – because if I gaze at anyone for too long they start to look like amphibians

I start laughing

I have never been late for an appointment, – I’ve never been in a wreck, and I’m thinking, “I’m really in trouble here”

Thinking, –  “Just three hundred more miles, and I’ll be in Harrisburg”

“Six more hours”, I keep telling myself; when suddenly a coolness touches my wrist …

I look up and am captivated by the waitresses shimmering leopard frog face

She props an elbow on her off kilter hip, indicates the steaming, black contents of her glass pot – and says, “ain’t no more of this gonna do you no good Hand”

“You forget that load of yours

You forget that load, and get yourself some sleep”

 


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