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Piss, Pray, and Roll On

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

She's a two-tone, fire-cracker-red mama. So that's what I call her, "Red." My bodacious, tenacious bulldog with a dirty blonde cab. She's my work partner, my friend, my lover, and family. She's all I got. She ain't never left me in the mud and snow, never. She's gotten me from here to there and there more times than I can count. Anyways, I look after her and she does the same for me. We get along that way. Once in a while I even trick her up with a few shiny doodads. Doodads make the long rides more pleasurable. See them die on a string, them rabbit feet, all them beads and that wooden cross I got in Nashvillle? Those was add-ons. Didn't go for the curtain rods. Went for the zebra upholstery instead. Having company over never seemed to offend no parking-lot-peek-a-boos anyhow. Even had a Mickey compass once, until I lost it somehow. I reckon one of my overnight guests swiped it. When you're on the road as much as me, friends and things are easy to lose and harder to find.

Well, I gotta say, Red and I look darn good when we're pullin' into a pit stop. The ladies notice. Even puts a smile on some of them smokey beavers. You just never know what might happen on the long haul. Ha ha, that said, it's more likely you'll run into a hang around nellie lookin' for you to buy her a super-sized happy meal in exchange for a happy handshake, if you know what I mean. But that's all right too, sometimes. We all got to get some.

My papa used to be a trucker. Four or five times a month, he'd drive a dead head back and forth from Hot Lanta to Shakey Town LA. Most of the time, I'd ride shotgun and keep him company. He called it home schoolin'. I called it good times. Sure, I learned a lot, about the pickle parks too but the thing I learned about most came from when he'd pull over to the side so that we could watch God making magic in the sky. He wouldn't say a word. Neither would I. The wind, that's all there was. "There are times when silence is all we need" he would say. "It gives us everything we're looking for." So, we would just stand and stare, for a whole hour sometimes. But truckin' is time and time is money. Eventually, we'd take a leak together, bow our heads in prayer together, and get back to rolling.

One time, when I was sixteen, we passed through Arizona and pulled over to witness a sky like no other. It moved slower than a pregnant snail, which made it even more spectacular. But then, the awesome clouds unlocked a giant hole, the size of imagination. The light behind it was not like anythin' I had ever seen. For the first time, scared of the unknown, I said something. My voice shook as I asked, "Papa, shouldn't we get goin'? He said, "Son, don't run from God." I was so frightened, I went back behind the truck and pissed the tires. Just as I finished, I heard a loud thud. My guts dropped. It was as if ten thunderbolts struck my heart at once. Like a greyhound, I raced up front to see what happened but when I got there, the hole in the sky had already closed.

That spot hasn't changed. These days, I have the same freight route my papa had. Every time I come up on it, I stop across from that same lamp post that's never lighted. I search the sky and listen to the silence. After an hour or so, I take a piss, I pray, and roll on.


Photo: Light

Eric Baronsky

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