Highest Way

A Caltex truck destroying down the highway. Its silver horn riding high on the cabin, just above where its willing driver sleeps, pressed up against the roof next to the UBD and the hand held television. It tells him about things he has no use for on the road. Steak knives with chemical readouts, vacuum cleaners that spout steam, electric skin polish.

Traveling down the highway next to him, at a similar speed, through the corridors of bitumen cut through the hearts of mountains the sleek appeal of a designer curvy car and its stallion owner beeps along wishing his phallic expression was as big as the truck and full of its explosive liquid.

He likes to look down on the Maserati of the world, at the plush cream leather with precise sewing needle edge work. Spied from above their silver lives don’t look so big. Bald spots are sharper, coffee cups and coke bottles litter the back seat. His cabin is immaculate, his pride and real home. Fail to see the turn off and a small life with a nice car winks out with spectacular invisibility, stuck out somewhere surrounded by national parks and losing scratchie tickets.

The bridge, the turn off, the ghost gums and the thrumming seat that ripples up between his legs and through his arm hair. Birds fly above head because no one told them he was the definition of flying. Perched in his cabin, half sitting, half standing, it is he who invented freedom. Only he has the words and the eyebrows, one sparse the other bushy, to tell people about it and for them to believe it. Fuck off birds, this is what it’s about.

Truck stop porn and sausage rolls in plastic bags with a grid of tiny holes. Scrunch it up, it refuses to stay in its tight little ball, and quietly unfolds itself in the dark pit of the garbage bin next to the automatic doors.

‘Terrible accident up ahead,’ tells the other truckie.

‘Pile up. Six dead.’

‘Kangaroo on the road. Take it slow, mate. Take it slow.’

Whatever. A word he learned form his son. The TV guide is all I came for. The twisting of the knob on the hand held gets on his nerves. Better to know. More predictable, and better. Some business on the road doesn’t concern him. They can ask and write about it elsewhere. Far over the mountains and back at headquarters. Stubbies only ride up so high before they fold into the crotch. Sand gets everywhere.


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