Highway Song

Big wheels rolling along as the rubber sings my song.  The sun comes up and races the shadow of my truck, the day has barely begun.  Each minute the miles tick away.  The load has settled down as the engine pulls at the gears.  Another sip of coffee, another glance around the cab, checking mirrors and gauges as my head turns from side to side.  The radio is turned on but static is all I hear, sometimes voices garble through.  It’s the same thought every time as that diesel starts to whine shifting gears as the truck climbs that long grade that waits ahead.  Wishing you were here or I was there by your side, letting the morning fade into noon.  You know I think of you all the time, you’re always on my mind and yet time don’t mean a thing.  Cities and towns pass me by, I’m a stranger to them all, not even the hiway knows my name.  It’s my highway song, I sing it all day long, all day long.

A load of tractors out of Moline, you know I’m headed for Telluride, got two passes to climb where the air is clean.  You know it’ll take me two days, maybe a little more if it snows.  Time just hangs around like rain that never makes it to the ground, just sort of disappears.  Each day seems the same, never ending road from dawn to dusk.  The lights have faded to green and it’s time to shut down my machine, the day has come to an end.  Then I lay head down and let my pillow wrap itself around singing to my ears how much I love you.  It’s my highway song and it just goes on and on and on and on.  Dreams sail through my head, each night I see your face, the darkness hides my fears of being alone.  I guess it’s the blackness of the highway that lays before me like a winding ribbon of uncertainty that causes me the pain I feel when I am missing you.

Rolling down to Grand Junction and headed up to Montrose, the winds blow through Glenwood Canyon sending day cab vans scuttling for home while I have another day before I am done.  Each grade slows me down, can’t make much time, been out a week and can’t say I mind and yet, and yet the weather grows colder this time of year.  Push on, push on, got to make the delivery and then speed to the next pickup three hundred miles away.  Down to two lanes, these narrow roads leave little room for doubt.  Keep pushing, don’t stop, don’t stop.  Each mile brings me closer to my baby, I keep telling myself that’s what it’s about.  Money in the sock, closer to my dreams, yet so far away, so far away, how far away are my dreams?

On and on my highway song goes, like a ship in the night and no one to pass, am I all alone, Like Ulysses strapped to a mast.  I hear the sirens of the highway, I see the rocks on the shoals, the white line guides me through the long and lonely night, solitude offers me choice, I must decide, what becomes of my soul?  Up here, next to god where man scrapes the sky, I think of your soft skin and the ease of your body as I hold you at night.  Almost there, ready to unload and turn around, head back east over Wolf Creek Pass, Pueblo beckons with a coiled wire load bound for Texas and a warmer clime, and end to snow and ice on the ground.  We might talk tonight if reception is good, so far from the cell towers, hard to tell, I’ve done the best I could.

Wolf Creek pass rises above Pagosa Springs, I climb a ice slippery road to the top and disappear over the pass.  No weight on the flatbed sends the bogies scuding from side to side with each turn, geared down to twenty five and still hard to handle.  Got to keep my wits about me, no time to think of you, no time at all.  Let the jakes do the work and keep my foot off the brake, don’t want to jackknife on this road.  By the time I hit the bottom I can think of you again, time has begun again.  Hours to Pueblo, next load, check in at the scale house, at least they care if I’m loaded correctly.  Waiting in line with you on my mind, country station on the radio passes the time till I’m loaded.  Takes an hour to strap down the load then on to the scale house again, weight’s in the right place, just under 48,000 pounds, makes a good ride, pulls well enough.  Evening time, got a couple of hours left, I 25 takes me to US 50 and over to US 287, bed down at a Love’s for the night.  Can of chilli in the pan, wash the pan, put it all away, time to lay my head down, I start to dream of you, still, my sleep is troubled at best.  My body is restless with the rhythm of the road, fitful sleep and time to get up, start the day again.  Snow on the hood, hope they haven’t closed the road, got to make Amarillo and on to Fort worth tonight.  I keep thinking how we had brunch that last Sunday, or was it the one before?  One day is like the next on the road, how long has it been since I left?

Pushed the limits, made the TA outside Fort Worth, might get a shower in the morning, got to get up early though.  Soup tonight, still have water in the jug, got to buy another jug down the road, time passes slow tonight, can’t get you off my mind.  Sleep only makes the night worse, I toss and turn, you aren’t by my side.  Wrote another post card and slipped it in the mail slot.  Funny way of keep contact with home, “Been here and having a wonderful time.”  Got to be at Alcoa thursday to pick up a couple of ingots headed for Iowa.  Seems I’m always moving, stopping only to eat and sleep.  Then when I get home I walk through the door as a stranger , even the dog doesn’t seem to know me at first.  That first night, dead tired and still feeling alone as you lay by my side.  Wake up thinking I know where I am but we are both unsure.  A couple more days and I feel at home and time to leave again.  Start my loneliness all over again, not sure it really ends.

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