The windows are down. The weather couldn’t get any prettier. My dogs are leaning out the passenger window, tongues flapping in the wind. They are happy.
The dirt roads are like a large, interconnecting maze. Choose one road, it leads to another, then another, and another. Soon, you’re in No Man’s Land, and you’re the only truck around for miles.
I pass barns in open fields, and cattle pastures, and a John Deere, combing the peanut fields, dust rising behind it.
I stop when we reach my friend’s farm, located on the edge of the world. I kick open the door and watch Thelma Lou and Otis run for parts unknown. They shoot into the distance. Lots of running. Lots or barking. Lots of eating piles of cat poop.
I sit on the porch with my friend.
My friend is old, he has dementia, but he was self-reliant once. Long ago, we worked together. He was strong, and he swung hammers with the best of
us. Today, he wakes up and needs a nurse. Still, sometimes he feels good enough to go feed his cats, or is fortunate enough to go for a walk. But mostly, he naps, or watches TV with his nurse.
Before I leave, I give him a hug. He tells me to, “Stay outta trouble.”
He has always said that. Most old men do.
I load my dogs into my vehicle, and we’re doing forty, going down more dirt roads. We pull over at a filling station.
I’m pumping gas, and I meet a man who is driving a transfer truck from Nashville. We have a short conversation.
He’s been driving for thirty-two years. He started an online business last year with and the project took off. He started earning more with the online venture than he did with his truck.
“Got three more shipments…