Truck Stop

Truck Stop

 

 

11:00 pm, 31 August ‘97

truck stop, half way between

Noosa and Cairns,

finished a smoke of Nimbin’s finest,

Marley’s little helper pulling me through

twenty-seven hours

care of McCafferty’s coach service.

A chipped Formica table,

microwaved sausage roll with BBQ sauce

(they didn’t have HP),

instant coffee in cardboard cup,

sweating legs sticking to a plastic seat.

 

A fourteen-inch colour TV,

chained to the wall,

with a crowd crying round it;

trucker drivers, and bikers,

and waitresses, and cooks,

and a lady dressed for… work.

 

None of them really knew her.

They weren’t related, or lovers,

or neighbours, or co-workers

or people that travelled the same bus

(I doubt she ever travelled by bus),

they didn’t drink in the same bar,

go to the same clubs,

or share a joke in the gym.

 

We hadn’t lost a cure for cancer,

or an Einstein, or a Dylan, or a Heaney,

or a Jesus.

And, Jesus, they were crying

like she was…

Jesus.

 

It may have been herbally induced apathy,

or being 10000 miles from home,

but

I didn’t feel anything

apart from a slight sense of perplexity,

that she seemed to be held

in the same esteem as Shane Warne,

or Kylie, or a schooner of VB.

 

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