“His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or revery, he had heard their tale before.” ― James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Old Truck
A tree lay across what once was an old logging road now turned to an eroded pathway to the past. The bark had long fallen away leaving the bleached wood to become a mossy bridge for chipmunks to cross. I locked my truck, grabbed my rucksack, and headed up the barely discernable road to see if she was still there at the homestead where I left her many years ago.

Clouds overhead and wind in the trees whispered of rain. If I made it to the house before the rain started, I’d be okay with spending the night as long as she would let me. If she still loved me as much as I loved her, staying wouldn’t be a problem. It’s the going that hurts. I felt nervous. What-ifs filled my head with doubts and images too real to push them away.

The trees were taller and thicker than I remembered. Under the clouds, the light was dimmed by the branches that reached across the gap creating a darkened tunnel of rustling leaves and chattering birds. The contrast of grasping shadows that pointed accusations at me warned me to turn back. A man can never return to the place and the love he left behind. I went anyway. I had to know what happened to her.

After a hard hour of hiking, I came out of the wood into the pasture behind the house. I saw my old red Chevy truck right where I left it. It had seen the last of its better days long before I’d gone. Now, the red magic carpet that I raced up and down the dirt roads in pursuit of life sat still, a relic to better times when youthful ambition had no regard for property or hearts.

Inside the frame of a long-gone window, I saw the springs of the bench seat that floated me over rough roads; bits of cloth hung on like tattered thoughts with no meaning. Here was where we first made love. We were reckless teenagers in the first summer after graduation. Her head hung out the window, and she laughed at my frantic efforts to unlock the secrets of her budding womanhood. Thick ginger hair, twisted into a horsetail by the wind blowing in through the open window now hung down the outside of the door and pranced to the rhythm of Eric Clapton’s version of Layla, our hard love, and her laughter.

There were bruises and sore places ignored and left as landmarks on velvet softness faded and refreshed in an endless cycle of music, dancing, and dust clouds rising like rooster tails behind this old red truck. We filled our days with love or lust, I’m not sure which one was which sometimes. She wasn’t always beat up by red painted steel in the throws of our lustful games. Creamy skin and proud amber locks didn’t seem to mind the roughness of my soil polished hands.

Beth Ann was the one that convinced me to buy this old homestead away from everyone where we could be free and loud, and no hard stares would put us down. We worked every spare moment to make it a home. My wages from working as a temporary hand on the local farms and her job as a salesperson at the hardware store was more than enough money for a place that had nothing to offer but hard work. It was ours, and we were free, and nothing else mattered.

I looked at the house now. There was only the rot of time left. I felt that old anguish return. It was too late, and I second-guessed the decision to see for myself what I already knew. Time had erased our past, and there was no future.

Oil on the gulf coast had lured many a young man to quick cash and dirty, back-breaking work. We needed the money, and we figured we could deal with the 30 days on and 15 days off. It was hard to be away, but we were making it work. Like all good things, it couldn’t last. I was drawn away by the stories of other men. I wanted to live a little too.

Beth Ann smelled the sin in my clothes and saw the distance in my eyes. She said nothing, but her heart began to turn to stone. I never thought my friends would take her from me. She wanted to be that girl in someone’s arms and see the passion in their eyes. She yearned to look into a soul looking only at her. They seemed to know her need.

There was nothing left for me to do and I walked away on a bright spring day. The sky was baby blue, and the wildlife was busy nesting and chasing each other among the wildflowers that carpeted the forest floor. Life was returning, but I was headed the other way. The road was clear and well worn by that old red truck in those days.

The sun was about to disappear behind the treetops, so I headed to the back porch of my old home. I’d stay there one more time and head back in the morning. I pried open the screen door to the covered porch and found the key to the back door where we always left it. With some convincing curses, I got the back door open and stepped into my past.


Image Source: Randy Nyhof, Pinterest.com

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89 thoughts on “Love in a Rusty Old Truck

  1. ” … There were bruises and sore places ignored and left as landmarks on velvet softness faded and refreshed in an endless cycle of music, dancing, and dust clouds rising like rooster tails behind this old red truck …”

    How this line touches me ever so gently unto my heart. My Soul felt like it was embrace by solid fire. Lots of passion in this chapter. Love has always been the inspiration for your writings, Daniel. This is what I really do miss here … reading what of love at your place and dark comedy Humor at Chris! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Sherry and thrilled to have you visit the old Dragon’s lair. I have always felt love was a better choice for any ocassion. Chris has gotten me to switch over to a little dark romance now in my writing. It’s a little bit vampiric and a little bit Wuthering Heights but love and light will find a way. We have a great team here now in our little blogoteer group. I think you will enjoy yourself whenever time permits.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rene! I’m thrilled you liked it. A bobbin of truth and a yard of imagination was all it took to sew this story. Digging in the way back machine was triggered by Joyce’s quote and the image. I’ve had my eye on the book a long time and I’m just going to have to bust loose and get it now.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh Rene, please do post it. I grew up in a pick-up truck culture and nothing beats giving a well worn truck a new life and new adventures. I promise to behave and not drool or act in some rediculous lovestruck way. 😍

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  2. Rustic and sorrowful – a strong memory, beautifully transcribed. Beloved objects like your red truck can be so powerful, transporting us back in time. Thank you for sharing this story of love lost with us.

    I saw you mentioned northern Arkansas in the comments – I’ll be visiting that area shortly for the first time. It’s where my gentleman grew up so he’s going to show me around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG! A fellow Arkansan. We could both piss you off for days if we ever chance to speak of our love for northern Arkansas. It would take a very long time to get it all out, 😆 I won’t throw any spoilers out but there is a very good chance you’ll love it. There are places that aren’t in the tourist areas that are breathtaking. My son, grandson and daughter in law live in Cabot while my delightful X lives in Russellville. She is still a hell of a fiesty Irish ginger gal even though she is no longer a teenager riding around in an old truck with me. Thank you for reading my little red truck story. There is a tiny smidgeon of young me in there. (My truck was really a blue ford)

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      1. Yeup, goin’ to the family farm. I can’t wait! Maybe I’ll love it so much I’ll never stop babbling about it, either. We’ll probably get in a hike or two as well, or at least that’s the plan if the weather cooperates. Oh, sweet! We’ll be a little further north in Mountain View. That’s how I imagine women from that area – feisty, strong, and fun. Red or blue, it pulled my heartstrings true!

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        1. Oh, I am so happy for you, Lauren! I will burn incense and chant to the Great Pumpkin that you do truly enjoy your time there. You’ll be right by Greer’s Ferry Lake, a beautiful and massive Ozark lake. I spent tons of my waking hours as a young man at the lake and the Ouachita and Ozark National Forest which is also nearby. I wish you blue skies and sunny days.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. That’s wonderful! That was my favorite part of the world prior to my signing up to live the adventurous life with Uncle Sam. I’m sure it has all changed from my time there but, lovely memories prevail. I’m glad you got to enjoy it with mild temperatures.

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          1. Your stories are interesting and as I already wrote very inspiring for me. I will enjoy my travels and meanwhile also your posts. They will be a good company during my journey. Thanks again!

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Holly. I feel the same when your poetry leaves me swimming in emotions and moving images conjured in my mind. This is what I want my readers to feel. It’s the same that I seek. I want to draw them into my vision and let them judge for themselves if their time was well spent. Your comment is inspiring and means a lot.

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  3. One more lesson – distance doesn’t work lol
    About the text: I think I like it the most from all your writing. It has a feel of a good literary prose. Very simple, true, stylish. Plus anyone can relate. Plus any story (horrible or sad) can hide behind the text 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I get you. Yes, normally, I’m all over the place with my writing style because I can’t remember what my writing style is, so everyone gets a variety. When I grow up, I hope to be a stable adult. I’m not holding my breath tho…

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  4. What a supreme execution of your skills. The sentences which are centred on both observation and reflection truly make you feel compassion for the narrator – all that longing after losing your first love; all the ridiculousness of ageing that turns shiny objects to rust; all the insecurity and regret; Truly amazing.

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    1. You get this so well K. We all go through this at some point in our lives. We leave our insular youth behind and become aware that life is bigger than the thrill of our early discovery. The wisdom born of experience, reflection, and introspection writes our life song which is often a bitter sweet melody.

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            1. I will K! And the best part is hearing everyone tell their tale. It’s like when I was a boy in the Boy Scouts. We would go camping and the scout master would tell us ghost stories and get us all worked up. Then the older scouts would join in and tell funny stories about themselves. It was the greatest fun. Storytime by the campfire was always my favorite thing to do. 🤠

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  5. This is poignant, poetic and a tale that stirs the soul. Do men feel this way? Sure they do. Can they express this sense of loss? Not like this. Not like this. This is some powerful, moving writing that tugs at every heart string. The exact circumstances may be different, be we all have that love we lost…and now long for. “Time had erased our past, and there was no future.” Man, this is a powerful piece Hype. One of your best yet. Little did your Army buddies know you had this in you. I dunno if I can compete with this poetry. Well done, Hype, well done.

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    1. Awesome bro! Thank you for this great comment. I’m not sure what got into me because I was whacking out Alexandra’s redemption scene and had to take a break. When I came back an old truck and a little highschool sweetheart in north Arkansas skittered across my mind and I just had to whack it out and pin it up. No editing, just raw intrusive thoughts. I’m not too sure I’d survive my young man years again. I have no idea how I pulled it off the first time. I like to look back in the way back machine but I don’t ever want to go back there. Don’t mind writing about it tho.

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      1. Yeah, I try not to walk down memory lane ’cause I’ll be filled with remorse…not for anything in particular like a lost love…just remorse for my lost youth as I watch time tick away. But enough maudlin thoughts! Check my blog in 5 minutes…I’m asking for input! Thanks!

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        1. I feel ya bro. Heading into the twilight is a lot harder than growing up and chasing fame and fortune. I used to have this hope that I could go out with my dignity but I’ve since learned that dignity is overrated and in short supply. The song Aqualung comes to mind for some reason. Be right over.

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                1. Sadly, I am stunted in my 35 year old mind while my body continues to age and gravity has gotten harder to overcome. I can’t remember the last time I was able to escape gravity. Strange, how I think women the same age as my brain are hot and fun to talk to. I cant imagine their horror but still they are kind and don’t pepper spray me.

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                    1. I have a theory about that and DNA. The bros at DARPA are thinking I’m right and are cranking up the gene pool filters to find out. Roughly speaking, there are only about 15 separate DNA tribes of humans. We are in fact little mini me’s running around like a single species of animal. And, like a single species, we are connected as a single organism in the mind by our singularity in our tribe. So, like Canadian Geese know to fly to Alabama and Mississippi every year with pinpoint accuracy, we also have commonalities that lead us to each other in our tribe. We just know and we form bonds that help us work together like that flock of geese.

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                    2. I’ll buy that theory. Particularly, connected as a single organism. With Paul, I’ve been avoiding using cliché terms like “hive mind” or “Borg.” Simply “connected as a single organism” does it. Thanks for your contribution.

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                    3. Glad to help with any of my eccentric mad science terms. There are more examples of organisms that are compiled of separate entities that collectively work together in nature than not. We just happen to possess the internal compass but without the understanding simpler lifeforms have. Too much TV at an early age has wrecked our sensory perception and autoalignment. It seems pot smokers are able to realign on a single theme quite easily and work together to smoke up the organism. Different tribe, no doubt.

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