Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Big Truck That Takes Diesel

I get a lot of attention in the new truck. People appreciate trucks around here. Especially big ones. They really love big ones with double wheels in the back (Kurt keeps calling it a dually) that take diesel. That’s truck gas. You see that on Ice Road Truckers—the big rigs getting diesel.

I’m like that girl on Ice Road Truckers. If she can drive one of those big rigs, I can drive our dually. It’s not easy though. You have to watch those double wheels every minute. I never know where to watch! In the big mirror, or the little mirrors that are attached to the big mirrors, or the rearview mirror, or the TV screen thing that comes on when you’re backing up. Usually I like to turn around and see for myself because you can’t trust new technology. Sometimes the thing starts beeping and you’ve got plenty of room! The truck is more nervous than I am. That’s pretty bad.

I like to put on my sunglasses when I drive it because then I look really cool. Long blonde hair and sunglasses driving a dually that takes diesel. Even though I can’t see very well with the sunglasses on. Sometimes I need my trifocals. There are plenty of places to put things in that truck so I put the trifocals in one of the little cup holders in the middle and when I need to change the channel on the Sirius radio, I take the sunglasses off, put them in another cup holder, and switch to the trifocals. After I find what I’m looking for, I put the sunglasses back on.

I love that Sirius radio! I think I could quit smoking using it if I stayed out in that truck all the time because every song is good and I sing at the top of my lungs. I sing till I’m blue in the face. Which doesn’t take very long because of the smoking. But I rebound real quick. Half a song and I’m going again. I can’t help myself. There are so many good songs on. I keep going back and forth between 6 on Sixties, 7 on Seventies, and Soul Train—Motown! Glorious Motown! I haven’t heard good stuff like Sly and the Family Stone and Marvin Gaye since I left New Jersey!

I feel like hot stuff when I’m passing guys working on the side of the road. I might give my hair a little flip but I do not put on the trifocals. They stop and lean on their shovels and nod their heads like they can hear Sly too. I act like it’s no big deal—me driving this big truck that takes diesel.

Parking it is another story. I don’t know what I’m going to do when we go back to Jersey where there are no parking spots. Here, I park way out on the other end of the parking lot when I’m going to Walmart and even so, I am always partly in the spot next to me. I act like I do it on purpose. Like I was trying to take up two spots. It is a brand new truck. There’s metallic flake in the black paint. It looks like little specks of 14 carat gold for God’s sake! There’s a new BMW that I suspect belongs to the eyeglass guy in Walmart that is parked way out no-man’s land too. I don’t blame him. Who wants to get sideswiped by someone’s old beat up farm truck or have the door of someone’s mini van that has a sticker of a soccer ball in the back window inadvertently hit your BMW or your truck that takes the diesel?

Yesterday when I came out of Walmart, I saw a scratch on the wheel well. I started pushing the cart faster. What?! A scratch?! How did that get there?! I hurried up the little hill, huffing and puffing because whoever designed this Walmart did it backwards. The store is downhill and the parking lot is uphill. It doesn’t make sense. When your cart is empty, you’re going downhill, but when it’s full, you’re going uphill. So when I arrive, I give the empty cart a push and hop on and if I don’t hit a stone to throw me off course I can make it all the way down to the entrance. Weeeee! I used to do this only when Kelly was with me so whoever was looking would think I was just being a good mommy and playing around with the kid. But the last couple of times I was there I got brave and did it by myself. If there is anything I learned after losing my mother it’s that you better treat every day like it could be your last. And if that means a grown woman is going to ride around the Walmart parking lot on a shopping cart, so be it.

At any rate, leaving the store with a full cart is another story. It’s bad enough if you only needed a few things but if you came to get dog food and litter and cases of Mountain Dew, all the heavy stuff, it’s literally an uphill battle. But when I saw that scratch on my dually diesel, I was like one of those old ladies who lifts a car off a person who got run over—I suddenly had super human strength and I ran up that hill with the overloaded cart and held it with one hand while I bent down and inspected the damage.

But it was nothing. Just a little dirt. I licked my finger and wiped it off. Someone said, “Nice truck.” I stood up and looked around. It was the landscapers doing those little islands in the parking lot. They had big trucks too. One of them even had the double wheels. But no gold-flecked paint and I’m not sure about the Sirius radio. I put on my sunglasses the minute I got in and pretended like I could see when I waved goodbye.