truck stop

maybe you never wonder
why a town gets built
in the middle of nothing
maybe you never lived in one
never wondered about it’s story

there’s this one small town I know
probably got started
because someone found good water
in a harsh shade-less desert valley

this town has seen better times
but hangs on now by being a place
to stop when you’re having a long day on the road
a place to get gas, a fast food meal
or a place to spend the night
when you’re falling asleep behind the wheel

if you pull off the main highway
thinking you might see something better
taking the crossroad and going into town
you’ll likely be disappointed

in town there are more ramshackle shops for truck repair
than probably all other business put together
there are a couple of places to eat but don’t get your hopes up
local color and charm is in short supply

but if you fall asleep driving your 18 wheeler
and run off road and tear the hell out of something
you can likely find someone who’ll let you park it
while he finds whatever he needs to fix it or patch it up

and you can get a room down the street
for $30 or maybe even less
while you wait or catch the bus if it was one of those bad ones
sometimes those casualties of the road sit there for weeks

my favorite one was the guy who was hauling a load of bricks
that truck and trailer sat there on the main drag like an exhibit
of bad shit that can happen on the highway
he ran into something solid, maybe the side of a hill
his load came unleashed crushing the cab from behind
pancaking pretty much everything up to the grille.
never heard if he survived or not
makes you wonder what that sounded like

sometimes they just seem to explode into fire
one memorable example was a trailer full of automobiles
charred to their metal skeleton in an apocalyptic nightmare
sat just off the road for months
a reminder or maybe a warning to other drivers
I try to picture it in full blaze at 80 mph
individual gas tanks exploding like booster rockets
I imagine these two guys meeting in a truck stop
comparing stories over bad coffee


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