Out on the Road Like a Snake

I think it was four years ago, or more like five and I crawled out of bed at 4:30 a.m. in an interstate motel just outside of Laramie WY, USA and drove over to my favorite greasy spoon truck stop in all of the world and worked out on their breakfast buffet with a pot of uncommonly good and strong cafe coffee and watched truckers shoveling down gravy ladened hash browns and scrambled eggs and rashers of bacon so thick they could barely hold them in their greasy fists, like ocean going mooring ropes, and slabs of ham and there were two men in a booth and they were middle-aged obese identical twin truck drivers in faded identical bib overalls and that was when I realized I was not in the Iron Skillet Cafe any more, but in a Neo-Felini movie set and so I dropped money on the counter and hurried out into the early morning rain.

I pulled out wet onto Interstate 80 west bound and I could feel the energy I had sweated out along this route about 40 years before when we were putting it all together and I recalled as I drove over the scene the late morning when I almost crawled on my hands and knees to the foreman’s pickup because tick fever had just come down of a sudden upon me and I could barely stand let alone work and how I once got fired down this long stretch a ways because I had overslept with my lover one too many times.

As I once wrote somewhere sometime before, I will never tire of turning a machine in the direction of my goal for the day and settling down in the determination to get there a lot sooner than the law would like me to behave. This was a fine rental and I was headed for the center of the state and so I set cruise one mph short of 90 and wistfully recalled once when on I-80 in a borrowed Thunderbird I set cruise on 98 and kicked back to watch that fine high plains scenery whiz past, but those liberties too have passed with the cost of the fuel.

And once out of port and sliding through the rain like a snake, I toggled the satellite feed radio and the previous renter had the dial set on The 80s At 8 which was appropriate for the location I thought and this was what first fell out of heaven early that morning and like the long late dear friend Richard Collier once confided in me, “If it doesn’t fall from heaven, fuck it.”



About Steven Nickeson

I've been a cowboy and a hobo and a truck driver and a newspaper reporter and magazine editor. I've written two text books on Native American property rights and been awarded national prizes for investigative journalism. I've ridden horses, all named Alpo, damned hard in the Westerns. I was once a range detective for Santo Domingo Pueblo and a private investigator for 18 years. I've also been a manuscript physician and writing tutor and journalism teacher and consultant to a literary agent. I've been a fencing contractor, and a welder in one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world and read Nordic Runes as a contract oracle on several psychic hot lines. My occupation for the last 19+ years is "Artist/Blacksmith" and I've done better at being an artist than any other calling. For nearly half of my life I have had an address along The Pan American Highway (Carretera Panamericana) in five cities/towns/villages, five counties, four states, two nations, two continents. I am in some way wedded to that road. View all posts by Steven Nickeson

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