Thumbprints

thumbprints copyIt was funny how quickly I lost the desire to keep track of time and place. I figured we’d see a lot, most of the country, even, and I wasn’t wrong. I wasn’t licensed for the rig, so Geoff told me I’d have to do enough watching for the two of us, but he never seemed upset when I couldn’t keep from dozing off, the rolling asphalt’s drone rocking me off to sleep.

He told me about his time before this, drifting between odd jobs. He was still drifting, he told me, only now he had a truck to drift in and someone to drift with. Plus I could do the numbers and he hated doing the numbers.

Geoff didn’t like truck stops. Only people more jaded than truckers were vineyard owners, Geoff said. Drivers talked about their rigs the way that tasters talked about “notes” and “aromas,” whatever all that meant.

I relieved myself in the ditch on the side of the highway where the shoulder was twice as wide as it needed to be. I never remembered drinking anything, but I always had something to let out.

The wind blew and I watched the grass stand firm, coarse and thick, but short; strange for grass that I wouldn’t bet was tended.

It was unlike the grass at our last stop. Or the stop before that.

“Come on, it’s been five minutes,” Geoff barked from around the truck. I hadn’t noticed.

“The grass is different here,” I informed him.

“Always is,” he replied. “Ain’t greener, though.” He said that like I’d been disappointed in the fact. But how could I be?

I climbed back into the passenger seat, and watched the grass as we  crawled back onto the highway. As it passed, the short, coarse blades blurred together until they were long and swishy and flowing like stalks of wheat that might be used for bread one day. But I never saw it change, even though I knew that the next time we stopped, it would be different.

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