My ship has come in.

Miss Carol and me were at our tiny-trailer-home and I had to go to Home Depot to get a few important something or others and after I walked LoLa around in the parking lot for an hour, visiting all the parking lot islands so she’d pee and poop before we went into the store, we finally went in.

In the entryway area Home Depot had staged some racks of little, teeny, tiny plants that Miss Carol told me later are called succulents.

Why, I don’t know.

And they were cute and teeny tiny and I thought that maybe a couple would look nice on my recently installed hanging bookshelves in our tiny-trailer-home.

So I stopped and I looked. And I looked for awhile while LoLa tried to drag away the shopping cart she was hooked to, but nothing really grabbed me. None of the little succulents whispered to me- take me home with you.

I was ready to give up and move on and get the important something or others I’d originally come for when LoLa somehow got her leash tangled in the shopping cart wheels and when I bent to untangle her I saw on one of the bottom trays a forlorn looking, bedraggled little plant laying on it’s side all by itself.

I got LoLa untangled and reached in to see what the little plant was.

When I saw the tag, my breath caught in my throat and my heart started to pound. I looked around me to see if anyone was watching me and then I took the tag out of the soil and stuffed it in my pocket.

I glanced around me again and decided to hell with the important something or others. I needed to get my plant paid for and out of the store before anyone caught on to what I’d found.

So- walking briskly- trying not to run, with LoLa scurrying to keep up, I made my way to the checkout. The self-checkouts were full so I had to go to a cashier. Fortunately for me, the barcode was on the bottom of the pot and not on the tag in my pocket.

The cashier picked up my half-dead, under-watered plant, scanned the bottom, and managed to get it back into the moving cart as LoLa pulled it away.

Cute dog, she said.

Thanks, I said, grabbing the cart.

$3.24. Will that be all?, she said.

Yes, please, I said, not wanting to seem over-eager.

So I paid and gathered up LoLa and my little plant and ran out to my pickup and hurried home.

When I got home, Miss Carol looked at me and asked where the important something or others were and I told her not to worry about those right now- LOOK AT WHAT I FOUND INSTEAD!

Miss Carol looked at my sad little plant and shrugged.

But then I yanked the tag out of my pocket and pushed it into the soil and held it out to her again.

Smiling at my little plant, I told her it was only $3.24 and to get ready ’cause pretty soon it was gonna be rainin’ dollar bills!

And Miss Carol said- are you insane?

I’m your Santy.

So this is what happened.

Me and my beard took the big truck to PPCY (Pinners Point Container Yard) to drop an empty container. PPCY is where the lonely empties go when the shipping companies don’t want them or need them on their ships.

So I pulled in, got the empty inspected, got my paperwork, and was told which row to go to.

And while I sat waiting, one of the spotter trucks pulled up next to me. She was young and cute and smiling.

The spotters do the selecting and directing for the massive overhead forklifts that handle the containers coming off of, and being put on, our trucks.

I slid my window down and she said- Hi!

And then she said- You should be a Santa Claus!

And then she said- Not only do you have the beard, you have the crinkly eyes! And she smiled cutely.

So I thought briefly, very briefly, about dressing up as a Santa and enduring dozens of little kids.

So instead, staring down at her boobs-

I said- You’re right! Let me practice!

I said- HO HO HO, little girl! Would you like to sit on Santy’s lap? HO HO HO!

I said- Santy would really loooove you on his lap little girl! HO HO HO!

She looked up at me for a minute more, her smile gone, and said- hmmmm, maybe not so much.

And rolled up her window and drove away.

Beard McBeardly

I never thought about growing a beard. It’s not that I like or dislike beards, it just never occurred to me.

For most of my life I’ve had some kind of facial hair whether it be a mustache, or a little chin thingy thing, or a Van Dyke, or simply the unshaved 5 o’clock shadow kinda hair on my face.

But then Covid19 burrowed into our lives and changed things. All of the sudden, just like that, trucking became an even lonelier profession than it had been. Companies that I delivered imports to, or picked up exports from, shut and locked their doors. Truckers were not allowed inside. Instead of a gate guard to chat with during a check-in process, phone numbers were posted and instructions were issued from afar.

I would be told where to dock my truck and to leave my paperwork inside the trailer. I would back up to a closed dock door and when I was loaded or unloaded, I’d get a phone call or text message telling me I could leave.

The Ports of Virginia became so automated that any interaction between truckers was impractical and unnecessary.

So I got lazy and stopped shaving. I mean, why bother?

And so, lo and behold, my beard grew.

And grew.

And grew.

At one point, Miss Carol and me were eating dinner and she looked at me and said- Are you ever going to trim that?

And I said- I dunno.

Much later on, Miss Carol asked- are you going to keep that thing all summer long?

And I said- I dunno.

Mostly because I didn’t know and for the most part, still don’t.

Having a beard is a strangely pleasant experience. And I think I like that it’s changed my whole look to the point where I’ll tell friends that I grew it just so Miss Carol can feel like she’s sleeping with someone different.

Perspective.

Over the weekend Miss Carol and me went to a Pig Pickin’. It’s an annual event to raise money for the all-volunteer rescue squads at where we live.

I’ve always figured it’s money well-spent ’cause you never know when you might need ’em.

Anyway, we’d had our fill of beers and pig and were headed to the exit gate when Miss Carol saw someone she hadn’t seen in a long while.

Sam!, she screeched and rushed to hug this old guy.

Miss Carol does this a lot. She’s always running into people she wants to talk to. And talk to. And talk to.

So I stood politely by, sipping my last and warmest beer wondering when we could leave, and then Miss Carol said that Sam looked great and asked how old he was now.

92, he said.

My head whipped around so fast I almost broke my neck.

Ninety-fucking-TWO????

I looked at Sam with new respect and wonderment. There he stood, slightly stooped with age, kinda grinning in that way old people do, looking old, but clasped in his gnarled hand was a stack of plastic cups from the beer truck.

I’m guessing he’d made five or six trips already.

Miss Carol hugged Sam again and asked how he did it.

Just keep movin’, he said, grinning his old guy grin.

Miss Carol hugged him again and I shook his hand and we moved on and left the party.

But much later, after Miss Carol had gone to bed, I found myself thinking about Sam and my perspective on life. For the last couple of years I’d resigned myself to the reality of me not getting any younger and the darker reality of being on the last lap of life.

It doesn’t really worry me, it’s just something I’d come to accept.

But then seeing Sam, it made me think- could I possibly go to another 30 years of Pig Pickin’s and beer drinking?

Maybe, just maybe.

I mean, a girl can hope, right?

LoLa refresh.

When I got back the other day I took LoLa out to get the mail and so she could pee and poop.

Halfway down the driveway, LoLa stopped and sat.

Jesus Christ it’s hot, she said.

I tried not to laugh.

LoLa hates it when I laugh at her, but her voice coming out of something so little and chubby is just funny. She sounds like I imagine a Madge or a Marge would sound- kinda like she’d spent a lifetime drinking whiskey sours and chain-smoking Marlboros.

LoLa, I said, it’s not that hot and we’ve only walked about a hundred feet, and besides, you’re a Chiweeny- you’re part Mexican, you’re supposed to love the heat.

She cocked her head and looked up at me, squinting against the glare.

I’m also mostly Dachshund, which is German for I hate this fucking humidity, she said.

I stifled a smile.

I don’t think it means that, I said.

In my case it might, she said, tell me again why you brought me out into this hellhole?

LoLa, you’ve been cooped up in the house all day and I just thought you’d need to pee and poop, I said, and we need to get the mail.

LoLa looked down the driveway.

Soooooo, she said, you brought me out of my air conditioned comfort for mail I don’t care about and can’t read and to do things I don’t need to do right now.

And I had to admit it, she had a point.

Go it alone dickhead, she said, and then take me back upstairs.

Alas.


There was a time, not too long ago, when I had me my Me Only Room.

It was mine, all mine; it was a place I could go to, to read, to write, to listen to music, to watch porn, to do whatever. I’d put up the NO GIRLS ALLOWED chain across the stairs and retire to my sanctum sanctorum.

Life was bliss.

Then Miss Carol and me visited her sister. And Miss Carol rode her sister’s Peloton. And Miss Carol decided she just had to have her own Peloton. She gushed it’s wonderfulness all the way home.

And I said- but where would we put it in our little house?

Miss Carol paused for half a breath and said- upstairs.

And I said- but that’s my Me Only Room.

Miss Carol shrugged You don’t use it THAT much, she said.

So it happened.

I went upstairs just recently to see what Miss Carol had wrought and it looks like a gym and smells like a sweaty Miss Carol.

I turned, and shoulders slumping, trudged back down the stairs, never to retun.

But cry not for me, because now that Miss Carol has transformed my Me Only Room into her She Only Gym I have-


My Me Only Chair.
Life is once again sunny and bright.

Say it ain’t so Speedco.

So this is what happened.

I needed a PM (Preventative Maintenance) on my big truck. Basically it’s an oil change (13 gallons) and 2 filters, a fuel filter change, and lube all the metal thingies.

Not usually a big deal, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to schedule with one of my three preferred shops to do the work.

Everything in trucking is super busy these days.

So I was rolling down 460E and I saw a Speedco at the Love’s truck stop and I thought- why the fuck not? Speedco is supposed to be the Jiffy Lube for big rigs. I’d never tried them, but WTF, right?

I pulled in and I was first in line for the bay marked “LUBE”. I was happy as I could be, thinking I’d be outa there in no time and TUGTUG would be good to go for another 20,000 miles.

I parked and walked in brimming with happiness and want.

The masked-up guy behind the counter said- Can I help you?

And I said- Yes you can! I need an oil change!

And the masked-up guy said- We only have a little 10W30 (I need 15W40) and no lube.

I stopped, stunned.

But, I said, but you’re an oil change place. It’s all you do, right?

And the masked-up guy said- yup.

But you have no oil, right? And no lube?

And the masked-up guy said- yup.

Hmmm.

So what do you guys do all day? I asked.

Turn away customers, the masked-up guy said.

No News is Good News.

There was a time, not long ago, when I was a news junkie dickhead.

I’d slavishly, religiously, watch and listen to the news on TV and radio and Mr. Internet. I yearned to learn what was going on in the world and how I felt about it. I knew I could puzzle out the world’s problems with enough information. I figured I’d try and find a balance so I’d watch the “left leaning” network news channels and listen to the “right leaning” radio talk shows.

But what happened was- I became a new junkie dickhead. And I grew angry at all of it.

Miss Carol wouldn’t talk to me about anything news related. She couldn’t, I was always certain I was always right.

And then, one dark early morning run out west on 58 I had an epiphany. *cue the angels chorus*

I realized that, not only couldn’t I do anything about the news stories, I wouldn’t and couldn’t even want to. So why listen? Why watch?

So I turned it all off.

Now I just live in my little happy world with my friends and family and I’m a happier person, because, honestly it’s all about my happiness that counts.

Right, Miss Carol?

Miss Carol?

I’m back?

Has it really been 3 years since I decided to say fuck this because I felt that writing a silly little blog was cramping efforts with Project B?

Has three years somehow flown by while I thought that if I stopped writing short, teeny, tiny blurby blurbs that I would someway, somehow, someday magically start writing longer, more interestingly important stuff on Project B?

Has it been that long?

And did I really think that?

I did, and it has.

I figured that if I stopped writing small, short stuff that it would help the longer stuff flow. That somehow the short stuff was limiting me, restricting me, making me write shorter and shorter shit- a constantly tightening noose of shorter leading to ever shorter.

So I stopped the blog and I waited for the bigger flow for Project B to engage and propel me forward, and instead, this happened-

*nothing*

Well. After a coupla years or so, and a number of false starts and re-starts, I thought and I re-thought about me and I figured I needed to write something, just anything, to get it to flow before I forgot how to type with all ten fingers.

Anyway, I’m back for what it’s worth and maybe for awhile and maybe not. I’ve got some new tattoos and some new stories and we’ll just have to see how it goes.

Project B tugs at me as relentlessly as ever and I just gotta do something to do it and get it done and get it out of my head and maybe this is it?

Let’s hope.

So that’s it.

Me and Miss Carol were having our weekly Sunday disagreement and argument. She was telling me I don’t do enough on weekends and I was pointing out the things we’d done.

And then she said- honestly, really, why keep trying?

And I said- because I love you.

And she said- stop trying so hard.

And I thought, and I said- you got it.

And just like that.Ravens