Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Three Things The Trucker Doesn't Know
I was sitting on a guardrail, by Interstate 84, just outside of La Grande, Oregon when it happened.
And in retrospect, I wonder who that driver is really angry at.
It was cold and I was trying to hitch a ride across the pass, down Cabbage and past Pendleton. And it really didn't matter if a trucker picked me up or not. I just wanted the right ride.
It eventually came...but before it did...
A trucker made a decision...a very stupid one:
He pulled his tractor-trailer over the hill and when he saw me, moved his rig over to the shoulder. Then he gunned the truck's engine and headed straight for me.
It was like slow-motion. He just kept coming and I simply sat there. Then he arrived, blew past me and disappeared in a cloud of dust.
My first thought, as he worked to get control of his trailer, again...was...
I expected to get sand thrown at me, while I played on the beach, when I was six. But not while I stood by the Interstate today, in the company of grown adults. And I know that it is just a matter of time before he either gets arrested or paid back.
Did he do it on purpose?
Did he deliberately try to hit me?
Yes, he did.
Should he be driving a big truck?
But there are three things that driver doesn't know:
1.) When he gunned his truck's engine, God stepped right in front of me.
2.) When he went past me, I kept my eyes on the images in front of me and saw more than I'm sure that driver is aware of. Like I said, God was there with me.
It didn't take much to run that truck at me. The real guts and the real strength came when I remained right where I was.
That driver isn't a man. A real man knows how to respect and treat a woman.
The driver hid behind a machine. He didn't have the guts to climb out of his truck and face me.
Awhile later, a trucker from Montana slid past me and stopped. I knew he was a bad person.
How did I know?
The fool tried to get me to walk up toward the truck. I didn't. He tried to get me to look at him when he climbed out of the truck. I barely did that. Then he called and tried to convince me to get into his truck. I responded with one word and one word, only:
And that was the end of the highway shenanigans.
As the wind blew snow around me and I huddled tighter to myself, something shifted.
The truck drivers slowed down, backed off and moved over into the other westbound lane.
Then Andrew pulled up in his fully-loaded white pickup that carries a
beautiful, gold-tinted tag from Alaska.
We started talking and held our conversation all the way from La Grande to where I am tonight, in Biggs, Oregon. Andrew is returning from a long trip and was very happy to hear that I am on one, now, too.
He has fought a blaze on the front line of a forest fire. He has run a delivery truck to different points in Alaska. And he has fed his hunger for adventure, this year...with a wide open sense of welcome.
He didn't blow sand on me. As a matter of fact, he bought me this motel room...where I am happily typing this out, tonight.
He's such a good man.
And what is the third thing that the other stupid driver doesn't know?
3.) Why he should be more careful about where he parks his truck.