The Truck Driver
It’s another lonely, rainy night for truck driver Terry McCurran. He pulls into the deserted rest stop just past Exit 9 off the New York State Thruway and parks his royal blue 18-wheeler. logistics company
He looks around the parking lot. Seems safe, he thinks. You can never be too sure after the murder and robbery of that trucker in Connecticut, the one who was attacked while he slept at a rest stop, in his truck in broad daylight. Terry looks at his clock-12:10 a.m. He started his trek some 12 hours ago, when the temperature reached 34 degrees and finally thawed out the roads. Now, with darkness enveloping him like a wool cloak, Terry has trouble keeping his eyes open, despite the freezing air his open window brings in and the bright lights of the other gigantic trucks that speedily pass by him on the highway. He realizes that he should have stopped to nap a few hours ago, but the traffic was so miserable that he lost time. And he has to get to the Canadian border before sunrise. He can not risk spoiling his truck’s cargo, perishable items such as dairy products, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.
Running his gnarled hands through his graying thick black hair, Terry reasons that he has to get at least a few hours of sleep. His thoughts are interrupted by the CB radio. His supervisor’s booming voice comes through loud and clear:
“Terry, where in the world have ya been?
I have not heard from you since three! Ten-four.” Terry hastily picks up the receiver to the CB: “Sorry, boss, but I got caught in some bumper-to-bumper ’cause of a fourcar accident. I was gonna call ya after I made up the time and pulled over, which I just did. I should get to the border on time, as long as it doesn’t start snowing. Forecast sounds better. Ten-four.”
His boss responds with a short grunt and then a click. Just as Terry begins to close his hazel eyes, another voice greets him: “Hi, sugar-pie-sweetie, it’s me. Where are ya? Tenfour.”
It’s his wife, Nancy. “Hey there, lady-love,” Terry replies. “How are you and my baby boy? Ten-four.” Nancy fills him in on the home life back in Coney Island, while Terry pulls out half of the hamburger that he left in his truck from yesterday. It’s going to be a long night, he realizes, as he leans back in his worn vinyl seat and stretches his sore legs. He still has to log all his hours and do a bunch of paperwork before he reaches Canada, he suddenly remembers.
With Nancy still chattering away in the background, he opens a can of Coke, silently praying that the caffeine will give him a boost. If only his trucker buddy Dave could have come along to split the driving, but now with the recent spate of layoffs…. Terry wasn’t looking forward to the drive back down either, but the return shipment was due in Florida in 80 hours. No rest for the weary, he thinks, sighing. And that is why Terry and all the other truck drivers are worthwhile persons in more ways than a million!