Thursday, June 15, 2006

Once Upon A Mid-day Dreary...

I like it when truck drivers call me "hun". I even have one that calls me "hot pants". But I'll get to that in a minute. I'm chewing on a dark chocolate covered espresso bean. I've been grinding them between my teeth for hours now. You know I'm tired if I am carrying around espresso beans. It means no amount of brewed java is enough - I am that tired. I went to bed at six and slept on my loveseat. Nothing wakes you up better than a back that can't move left right or backward. By 11:30 I was in the shower and rushing out the door to Starbucks by noon. I had back-to-back interviews today, doing two profiles on our local Habitat for Humanity chapter and an interview with an award winning real-estate agent. I met up with my first interviewee on-site. She looked younger than me. And I'm pretty young looking. She spoke incredibly softly and I couldn't get over how young she looked. There was no way this kid was over 25. I immediately sized each of us up. If she was at the very least 26, overseeing a large portion of something like a Habitat for Humanity chapter, I'm thinking she must have done things the right way and went to college right out of high school. The right way being the opposite of my way - which is the wrong way because now that I finally know what I want to do with myself I'm stuck here trying to cross my t's and dot my i's and get my A's. (4.0 & Dean's list live on this semester - go me.) This is what I do. I compare things. I compare me to other people. I compare one story to another. I compare coffees and wines, places and people. I got myself home and had an hour to relax before my phone interview with the award-winning real estate agent. How exciting could this be? I thought. She was awesome. She said "shit" and joked around and had a head on her shoulders. I could imagine her being somebody's mentor. The all knowing gal everyone goes to for pointers. I wanted to be a real estate agent. When I got to work I was chewing on the espresso beans and enjoying a venti complex description latte from Starbucks. I like it when the truck drivers that I deal with all night call me 'hun' or 'sweetie' or 'sweet heart'. It's not terribly P.C. - I know. But I like it. Not pervertedly either. It makes me think that if one of them were here and a gangly robber was trying to slice me to pieces - that one of my drivers would step in and save me. Of course then they show up and I realize they are the gangly type guys. Then there's the one that calls me "hot pants". He's actually a nice guy by the sound of him. He called in tonight from home to check in. He names off a few places he's been to recently - "small town america" he says - the kinds of places I look for as backgrounds for stories. I tell him I'm thinking of a future project - a look at the life of a truck driver. "Let me know," he says. "After a while I start talking back to NPR." The guy listens to NPR. Seriously. He makes restaurant recommendations of those "small town america" towns and then starts talking poetry. Poe & Shakespeare. I thought he was kidding until he told me about his daughter's analysis of Macbeth and that he had collectors pieces of Shakespeare at home. He tells me to go back and read The Raven again - closely this time (closer than when I read it in the 8th grade??) - and the next time he calls he wants me to tell him what I think. I'm talking intellectual shit with a truck driver. But now I need to re-read The Raven.

3 comments:

George said...

Well your obviously a writer, when I blog I wish I could roll words like that out of my mouth. I went to college late, could barely manage B's, but I made it. Oh, right, comment... I used to sit and chat on C.B. radio and I would find truckers studying everything from insects to physics. Also, I just enjoyed reading it.

Jessica said...

George -

Thanks! I appreciate that. You are right - I am finding truckers to be quite an interesting breed. Gotta respect guys who live their lives away from their families and on the road.

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