The Big Truck (excerpt from a short story, circa 1990)
A door slams and a key twists in the ignition of a big, new capable American machine. None of that third world bullshit, we’re talking Eight bedroom-sized cylinders displacing more than six liters in a gurgling rumble of power shouting of fundamental inconsistencies, hell, it’s goddamned hypocrisy to I digest so much carbon fuel in getting to the wild places I’m aiming to get to. And I don’t care. To hell with consistency; it is the mask of the uninteresting soul, the warm, smothering blanket of the tamed mind: too much about being correct, responsible, intentional, when we should be flying full bore towards living for good, wild lives.
It may very well be that I am lacking hormonally something, needing three hundred-odd horses to power me, but those dainty little Asian fuel miser machines doesn’t cut it (I have had one, loved the zip but loathed the coffin-like fit my build demanded). It could just be that I was raised on toy cars and trucks. Whatever the case, there is something magic in the early morning growl of an idling big block V-8 engine.
I like that fact that it practically begs to be let loose to flatten the teeming knots of Hondi and other bullet shaped knatmobiles out there. This machine, on the highway, is like walking the park with a vampiric Irish Wolfhound on the end of the leash. Power to spare.
The assembled corps of Highway patrolmen wait ahead, their microwave beams slow-roasting innocents from over hills, behind bridge abutments, around blind curves. We will tempt them presently, joining in the mass of sensible speeders bravely playing political out on the roads, defying the revenue fishers and legislators fat on insurance lobby kickbacks. From here in Pittsburgh to the border it will be bad, Pennsylvania being a wonderful state except for its archaic clinging to the 55mph barrier. Great yellow signs greet visitors: Pennsylvania Maximum Speed Limit is STILL 55mph!! Might as well erect an afterward, a new slogan. Pennsylvania, backwards-assed and proud of it….
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