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The Trucker

October 24, 2017 3 Comments

When he hits the Big Slab, his heart is sad. The memory of little faces looking up at him begging for one more day at home. With a little luck, clear weather, and good traffic, he will see his family again in a week or so. He points his rig towards Shaky-Town and it’s hammer down.

00121For the trucker, there is not a schedule that he can plan his life around to spend more time with his loved ones. He can’t promise them that he will be home for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or even Holidays. He is prepared to leave on a Sunday and drive until his trailer is empty, then reload and head back. He is expected to arrive at his destination early, smile at the receiver at the warehouse window, who never makes eye contact, and patiently sit waiting to be unloaded or reloaded. He is expected to sit for hours, and not complain, even though he knows the sooner he leaves the more time he gets to spend with his loved ones back home. He is often late to his next destination before he ever hits the highway,

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An Ex Amish Independence

July 4, 2017 6 Comments

                                                               March 14, 1994

The boy adjusted his gallouses and tried not to look over his shoulders as the family farm disappeared slowly behind him. The red barn was the reminder to fade, reminding him of the life he was leaving behind. It was early afternoon. The snow was only about sixteen inches deep. He pulled apart the middle two strands of the barb wire fence and climbed through. His mind was made up. The world held too much for him to remain captured on such a small island for the rest of his life. The men in the community who had become his father since his own father had passed two years earlier, were not going to rule him and his life ever again. He was an adult now. He would make his way and live the sinner’s life that he had been warned about since he was a child sitting between his little brothers on the hard church pews listening to the bishop preach against the evils of the world. Now he would live the life that he wanted to live during this short time on earth, and then he would die, go to hell and face the consequences forever. It was a decision he had wrestled with, and now at fourteen, he was ready. He was at peace.










          Summer 1997


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Rollin’ through life

May 2, 2016 14 Comments

My dresser drawer made a hollow, clanging noise as I pushed it firmly shut. It was exactly 9:37 pm on a Tuesday night and the room was quiet. The cold and wintery frost bit me through my coat as I trudged out the front door, a cardboard box on my right shoulder.  I was the last one to leave the Dealership, which was usually the case, and my Blue Prius was just beside the curb, its trunk open and waiting.  I had no feelings, no emotions and no regrets.  I didn’t look over my shoulder when I closed the car door, and I didn’t look in the rear-view mirror as I pulled onto Vandiver Drive.


My cell phone yanked me out of a stupor.  A now-familiar name and number flashed across the display.  I immediately hit the Bluetooth answer button on the steering wheel.

“Good evening Moses,” said a disembodied voice.  “This is Mr. Prinkley. I want to let you know that my wife and I are in the market for a new Toyota. We would like to schedule an appointment for this Saturday morning. We’d like to try out the Sequoia, the 4-Runner, the Highlander, and the Rav 4. We’ve also been shopping with several dealerships in St Louis and Kansas City, and although we like you, and would prefer to buy from you, we want to go with the salesman who gives us the absolute best rock bottom price. Just business.”

Instantly, before I responded to him, my mind flashed through the most likely scenario.


I was still three car deals away from getting my monthly bonus, and Saturday was the last day of the month.  I would probably spend the entire day with Mr. Prinkley, test drive all the vehicles he wished to see, and not sell a one.  I knew him to be a tough negotiator.   Even if I did, by chance, luck out and make a deal, it would be months until it was finalized.  I wouldn’t make that much money on it anyway.

I weighed all these options, and more…until the reality of my situation suddenly barged into my mind.  I’d forgotten myself in my robotic pattern of scripted things I always said.  But not tonight.  Tonight, for the first time, I had something different to say.

And so I said it.

“I am sorry, Mr. Prinkley, but you’ll have to call someone else.  I no longer work for Joe Machens Toyota.”

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