PseudoPod 623: Greener Pastures
“There’s still a sort of sad Western romance about American truckers, from the language of the CB radio to the drone of all those wheels on the highways. Endless sodium lamps. Although the trucking industry is still very much alive, it often feels like truckers are a relic of the past, and the blank spaces on the maps have less traffic in them. The rest stops and all-night diners tucked into these spaces feel more lonesome. I wanted to write about them in an ode to The Twilight Zone, as a sort of anti-ghost story. We are all haunted by our dead—it is a motif that has been and always will be a resonant voice. But what if the voice is that of the living? Truckers leave behind their loved ones for long stretches at a time, and there is a lot of empty road out there before the dawn.”
by Michael Wehunt
“You ever can’t sleep?” the trucker said.
Forsyth glanced up out of his thoughts. The man standing at his table was big and worn out, his eyes raw and heavy even in the shadow of his cap’s bill. He had a young face with an old beard matted on the left side, as though he’d been trying to nap against the window of his cab.
The trucker slid into the booth but Forsyth didn’t answer his question at first. He felt the contradiction of road life, that of the lonesome loner. It could be nice to have company when he stopped off someplace, but he’d never been much for talk. He glanced around the diner. A couple more long-haulers sat on high stools at the counter, knives and forks chattering against their plates. The waitress was somewhere back in the kitchen. Even for a graveyard shift the place had a tired air. (Continue Reading…)