07 June, 2010

Just 3 more hours

Along the back, the trays rattle-thumped, causing each and every item to jump in time to the bumps in the road. Nothing else could be heard. The smell of rust, dust, old sweat and burnt rubber filled the cabin, amidst the degrading of old burger wrappers and forgotten sandwiches. Outside, the baked road gave rise to little hallucinogenic pools of water and advertised its ability to fry an egg to a crisp.

When travelling a long road with no stops but for the rare tin outhouse that was truly a hole in the ground with no water for washing hands, one had to be prepared to rough it. Accordingly, a folding spade, just for that occasion hid beneath the seat. Waiting.

The vehicle belched, groaned and skittered to a halt at the roadside. Already, the spade had been yanked from its hidden position and the driver was running toward the thickest bush he could see. Unseen, a bruised body with well tousled hair, muttered language his grandmother would have washed his mouth out with soap for. Gritting his teeth, he tumble-fell out of the truck. He got up off the burning bitumen in a hurry. Not the best ride he'd ever picked. Taking a moment to scan the wild countryside and note where the driver was grunting to himself, the man stretched, trying to get his bearings. By his estimation, they would reach the civilised world again within 3 hours. Three more hours of torture.

Well, he could bear it, he supposed. Three more hours and he'd be back. Moe sure would be surprised to see him back again so soon.

The crackle of dry grass and twigs alerted him to the returning driver. Back to his hiding place beneath the stuffy tarp. Just 3 more hours.

Sighing and hitching his pants up more comfortably, the large truck driver smiled at a job well done. Now he could complete the run. Where was that other packet of chips?

Chips and coke now within easy reach, the driver settled himself back into his comfy, padded seat. Back to work. If he was quick, he'd get home in time for the missus to have just laid dinner on the table, still steaming hot.

With a gurgly rattle, the truck choked back to life and scrunched back off the road's edge. In the back, the man half-suffocating in the heat, continued to mutter under his breath every time they went over an especially large bump or pot-hole. Just 3 more hours. Please God, let it be quick.

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