Monday, July 10, 2006

Untravelled Highway

So a little over a year from my last're probably wondering'
what the hell happened to that guy?' I have been through some of
the weirdest, epiphanal, offbeat, zany experiences ever endured by
a human being. I feel that even by writing, a huge internal grin is spreading
from ear to ear within me and I can't even begin to re-trace the steps down
the rabbit hole. I can say that I learned much. I can say that. Going over
all the messy details might be a tad magical, but right now I'm in an
internet cafe in...well, we'll get to that.
'So last I heard, you were on a mountain in Pennsylvania in a mining

town?' Yes. Yes I was. It's all a blur, really, and I know you've read hippie
novels where the main characters say that a lot, and I am by no means
a hippie, but I now understand some of those generalized expressions a
little more. The unclear becomes clear. I began to get a little weirded out
on the mountain, thinking thoughts like 'Hey - I'm on a mountain' and
'What if I fall off?' or "What if those rednecks try to get me like they did to Ned Beatty in the movie Deliverance?' or 'Who would know
if I died up here?' and so, after a few cool nights in April, an 18 wheeler
rolled by the below service road and had to stop because the driver
needed to take a 'wiz'. So quickly, I packed up my little backpack,
and scuttled my way down to the service road, falling once and cutting
my ankle on a sharp, protruding mossy rock in the dark mountain dampness.
When I first came out of the mountainside forestry, I think
I scared the shit out of the trucker, mainly because I was a dark, nerdy
looking guy just staring at him and because he was just finished zipping
up from his wiz. Regardless, though, we hit it off well. His name was
Angus, and like the name would suggest, he was a giant Scottishman with a red
beard and redhair winging out from his oily ballcap.
I asked him for a ride into town but he said he wasn't 'goin to nue tune'
which means 'going to no town' just in...Scottish, I guess. He reminded
me a lot of groundskeeper Willie from the Simpsons and the father
character from So I Married and Axe Murderer. But he was real. And
he was about 6 foot 5 and looked like he didn't like to 'take crap'
from people. You know the type. Anyways, once the initial awkward
greeting was over, and I told Angus my story, his heart showed through
his rough exterior. He helped me into the cab and off we went.
As it turned out, Angus was not heading to the next town because he was
heading to California. He trucked for a blockwax shipping company (wax used
mainly on highline surfboards) and told me he did these kind of
runs every month or two. The funny thing is, It's a good 40-50 hr trek
from Pennsylvania so considering the time it takes to get there, unload,
lade and bill the order, and get can see the time problematics
here. This equals a laidback schedule for old Angus who said he
had been driving for blockwax for almost eight years. I decided quickly
that I probably wouldn't go all the way to Cali with him but that I would find
a neat place to stop and get out on the way down when it was convenient
to jump ship.
So there I was, someone who had never really known adventure before

in any kind of meaningful and realistic form, beyond the realm of online
gaming, in a 18 wheeler bombing down interstates with a large man
named Angus and a whole lot of blockwax. There came this sort of
gleaming, though, where my life, prologue to this point, seemed to be at an
utter disconnect with the current situation. Two roads diverged in a yellow
wood. But somehow...they were both me and I was reeling in this realization.
An angry, love hungry, misunderstood, philanthropic, existential slackster
whose deepest motive was to get through the day with less than a thousand
suicidal thoughts was turning into this...mound of weird, psychotic thrill-seeking
pleasure. I could not do enough or see enough. Funny too was the fact that
I had been one of the biggest adversaries, in every moral sense, to the
U.S. of A. and now, here I was, traversing through it and living off its land.
Little did I know what would befall between Penn State and...what was

to come. Angus and I got along swimmingly. He would have been one
of the people from the Niagara region that I would have referred to as
'street dirt' back in the day of being of my assenine self but now, that
didn't matter. He was a means to an end and he knew a hell of a lot about cabre tossing.
I guess he comes from a family of famous logthrowers and
this ritualistic wood-heaving was grown competitionally
and recreationally. He had 7 brothers, of which he was number 4. All of
them bigger than himself. Good GOD! What a thanksgiving that would
be. He asked me about my 'family'. I sighed for a while and stared out the window.
'No one has ever asked me that before' I thought
and sort of half said aloud. He seemed a little uncomfortable upon
my spurting after a long silence, but regardless, if he was interested
or not. I figured I would let him have it, even to get some shit out of
my own system. The funny thing is, I didn't even get a word out
and just started sobbing, uncontrollably (and I mean uncontrollably)like a
wee school girl who had skinned her knee. This went on for sometime, I
believe about 15-20 minutes (we were just west of Cleveland at
the time) and Angus just stared ahead, looking over at me from time
to time, probably making sure I didn't have a gun. I lay there with my
head leaned against the window, watching my tears roll down the
glass on to my shirt. Angus said nothing...and just drove. What I
appreciated about that silence though was that he didn't try and
figure me out or pretend to be interested or even kick me out for
crying like a pussy. He just drove. And he drove like mad.
We were making serious distance as time seemed to blend together

in mud brown farmland and chunks of states. The ominous 50 hour drive
was now near half done, and we were in the cornfields of Nebraska,
when a strange thing happened. For some unknown reason, Angus
pulled the truck off the road even though I knew had just stopped for
a wiz a few miles ago. He got out of the truck, with me in it, and walked
out to the centre of the highway. The dark of the morning was starting
to break and all of the emptiness of Nebraska fields were humming
in full throttle of crickets, meadowlarks, and the rustling of corn husks
thrushing back and forth against each other in the spring morning
breeze. I didn't know why he was standing on the road with arms
folded - maybe he knew something I didn't - maybe he was lost -
maybe this place was special to him - whatever the reason, I was
kinda freaked out. Then, in a flickering of minutes, I began to understand.
The sun. The sun was just beginning to peek over the midwest, cresting
the land in an orangey yellow that is impossible to capture, and all
the while, seemed to move and dance as it rose, millimetre by millimetre.
Angus, staring with arms crossed, took off his hat, and let the sunrise up
and spray warm colour on to his thick receding orange hair, beard and
clothes staring straightaway into the concetrated glow.
In that briefest of beautiful moments, I could have sworn I saw him
turn aside, close his eyes, and utter maybe three words from his
lips. With the sun climbing fast, Angus strode back to the cab and
climbed in with one quick motion and saw that I was awake. I wanted
to say something - but I think that would have cheapened the moment.
He half smiled, pulled a 'u' and we were off westward. I don't know
to this day what Angus was thinking of in that moment, but I'd like to
think that even if it wasn't necessarily warm or fuzzy or beautiful,
then at least it was something meaningful. Meaning. Yes.

More to come...gotta go to bed now. Ok bye.


Post a Comment

<< Home