Love on the Road
by: Miguel Sanchez
© 2008 by the author
The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the
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I’d got my stuff together and started carrying it out to my rig as Ozzie jumped up on my shoulder. I had my bag in one hand and bedding in the other as I headed out the door. I opened the door to the cab and Ozzie jumped onto my seat. “Easy Ozzie,” I said rubbing my shoulder.
I set the bag down and climbed inside tossing the bedding onto the bunk. Ozzie jumped over to the other seat as I turned the seat around so I could make my bed. I made the bunk then put my suitcase in the luggage compartment and went back inside for my drinks and snacks.
Hi, I’m Bill and I’m a trucker. I spend anywhere from 5 to 7 days at a time on the road. I recently traded in my old rig on a new Freightliner. I had a few luxuries added like 2 queen size bunks. One folds up into the ceiling so if it’s not needed, it’s not in the way. I have a satellite television, CB radio, GPS system and a top of the line sound system.
I went to pick up the box of supplies as I felt Ozzie around my legs. I guess I should tell you who Ozzie is. Ozzie is my cat and not just any cat but a pure Ocicat. “Alright Ozzie,” I said. “I have your food.”
Ozzie is my pride and joy and keeps me company during my long trips up and down the east coast. Ozzie was from a litter that someone crossbred and ocelot and an Abyssinian. They had a litter of four and Ozzie was the only male so I got him at 4 months of age. Now people give me strange looks when we’re out as Ozzie has two problems with walking on a leash. Ozzie is as protective of me and the truck as any dog. In fact, he’s sent several large dogs packing with their tales stuck in between their legs. Ain’t nothing worse than being on the wrong side of 30 pounds of pissed of cat with an attitude.
I stuck my cell phone in my pocket, grabbed the laptop and food then headed back out the door. After checking the engine, tires and other safety items, I started it and let it warm up. I made sure I had plenty of oil with me then I was ready to go. Ozzie jumped into the cab and I got in and we’re off to the terminal to get my load.
I pulled into the yard then had to check the email I received for the trailer number. I find the trailer, hook up then check the lights, tires and brakes. I left the terminal and headed for the interstate. It’s 3PM and I have to be in Virginia in the morning for an 8AM delivery. I can make this run in 7 hours of solid driving so I decided to run hard for four hours then stop for a decent dinner.
I picked up I95 and headed south for D.C. then to the Virginia line. It was almost 7 and I was making good time so I decided to go a little further before stopping for dinner. Ozzie saw me go past my usual exit and started howling at me. “Calm down fuzz face,” I said as he put his feet up on my shoulders. “I haven’t forgotten about you. You have food in your bowl so you aren’t starving.”
Yes, I talk to Ozzie and he does understand most of what I tell him. He can be worse than a child sometimes especially if I don’t give him his can food when he thinks I should.
I’m cruising along when my stomach lets me know it’s hungry so I look for a decent place to eat. I looked around and saw a Howard Johnsons’ sign up in the air so I changed lanes so I could get off. I slowed down and they had a large parking lot so truckers could have room to maneuver. I parked the rig and fed Ozzie before going into the restaurant. I looked around and there were a few cars in the lot along with another truck.
I went in and looked around before deciding to sit at the counter. There were just some couples sitting there and one lone guy who I assumed was the other trucker.
A waitress brought me a menu then I said, “I’ll have coffee.”
She brought me my coffee and as I was looking trying to decide what I wanted, this trucker got up, paid his bill and left. The waitress came back and I ordered steak and eggs then put on some music.
I was working on my log book when a boy came out of the bathroom and walked over to where the trucker was. He looked around then walked over to the door and stood there for a couple of minutes then returned. He leaned against the door then came and took a stool at the counter. The waitress looked at the kid and said, “Get your sorry ass the hell out of here.”
I looked up and said, “You better just watch your mouth.”
“I don’t want him in here,” she spat back at me.
I reached into my pocket and threw two dollars at her. “I guess you don’t want my business either bitch,” I said taking the boy by the arm and leaving.
I lead him to the truck as I said, “What happened? Were you with that trucker?”
“Sorta,” he said shaking as the temperature was starting to fall.
I unlocked the passenger side of the truck and he climbed inside. I went around to the driver’s side and got the engine running so I could put the heat on. It came up to temperature quickly then turned the heater on high then left the restaurant.
“Where we goin mister,” he asked.
I looked at him and said, “There’s a truck stop a few miles north. You don’t really appear dressed for the weather.”
“Why you doin this mister,” he asked looking out the window as we headed for the interstate.
I got on I95 north and in about twenty minutes we were at the truck stop. I pulled into the lot and set the parking brakes then said, “What should I do, leave you out there so you can catch your death of cold?”
Just then Ozzie put his paw on the boy’s shoulder and I thought the kid was gonna shit. “What the hell,” he said. “What’s that, a mountain lion?”
“Nah,” I said. “That’s Ozzie, he keeps me company on the road and he’s an Ocicat.”
He reached around and Ozzie butted his head against the boy’s hand. I watched Ozzie and the boy for a couple of minutes then said, “Looks like you got yourself a friend. He don’t take to too many people. What’s your name boy?”
He rubbed Ozzie’s head and said, “Randy, Randy Monroe.”
“Hi Randy” I said. “I’m Bill Pruett.”
I shut the truck down and Ozzie came over to my side as Randy and I got out to head inside. Our fist stop was the store where I had Randy find a couple of pairs of jeans and two flannel shirts. I took him aside then said, “Get yourself some underwear, tee shirts and socks too.”
After he got those we went over and looked at some shoes for him. “Bill, I have shoes on.”
“Yeah,” I said. “They’re worn out too. Let me see the bottoms.”
The bottoms of his shoes were just starting to show a couple of holes. I found a good pair of boots that would give him some good wear and keep his feet warm. We took the merchandise to the register and Randy gasped when he saw the total. I pulled out my credit card and paid for everything then said, “Come on, let’s get you out of those old things.”
We went back out to the truck and Randy crawled inside with his bounty. I helped him put this things in the sleeper then took out a pair of jeans and started cutting off the tags. “Thanks Bill,” he said shucking his shorts and underwear in his seat. “I’m all yours now.”
I looked over and saw him almost naked then said, “Son, you’re not mine. I’m not expecting anything in return for this.”
I reached into the bag and opened his briefs and tossed him a new pair. He put them on as I handed him his jeans for him to put on. “Next time you change Randy, use the sleeper. That way you’ll have some privacy.”
“I don’t mind changing out here,” he said. “I had to before.”
“That was then and this is now,” I said unwrapping his flannel shirt. “Put this on and tuck it in then we’ll go get something to eat.”
After he put on his new boots, we went back inside the truck stop and headed to the restaurant. We found a booth and sat down then started looking at the menu. The waitress came over and I ordered steak and eggs like I was going to have before and Randy wanted a double cheese burger and fries.
While our order was being cooked I looked at Randy and said, “OK son, what gives? First thing is how old are you?”
The waitress brought us our coffee as Randy was about to speak so he waited. After she left he said, “I just turned 15. My mom said I had to go with Kenny to work and do what ever he said.”
I sipped my coffee and thought about what Randy just said. “I guess the biggest question is why son. Why would your mother send you with some guy?”
Randy looked at me then down to the table. “She owes him a lot of money.”
Now things were starting to make sense. “What kind of work were you doing for him?” I asked as I finished my coffee.
“Anything he wanted,” Randy said.
He was looking at the table so that gave me an idea as to what was happening. I lifted his chin with my finger and said, “Sex?”
He nodded his head and had to wipe his eyes as he said, “Yeah, but not only with him.”
I was getting a picture here that I didn’t like. “Who does he drive for?”
“Himself,” Randy said. “He would constantly have to fight to get loads and when he couldn’t, that’s when it got worse for me.”
“Why did he take off on you back there then?” I asked as I saw the waitress bring our food.
Randy waited for the waitress to set the food down before he answered. When she left he said, “I was tired of the shit he was making me do Bill. I finally worked up the nerve and told him if he made me do it again, I was gonna call the cops on him.”
“Why did your mother owe him money?” I asked as I stuck a piece of steak in my mouth.
“She had a problem with drugs,” Randy said. “He would loan her money and at first, she’d always pay him back. But it got so lately, she wasn’t able to but he would still loan her more. It got so bad she lost her job and that’s when I had to go with him.”
“How long had you been out with him?” I asked as I finished my meal.
“Couple of months,” he replied as he stuffed the last of his fries into his mouth.
“What about school,” I asked as I called the waitress over.
I asked her for our check as Randy said, “I was home schooled. I would do lessons on his computer. I had a special site I logged into and got my assignments.”
She brought me the check and I left a tip on the table and we went to the front to pay. “How were your grades?” I asked as we went back over to the store. “I forgot a couple of things for you earlier.”
“My grades were great,” Randy said. “I was making all A’s and that really pissed Kenny off. I was doing his log books for him because he was too stupid to do it right.”
We walked around and I got him a toilet kit with his own toiletries. Then we went over and looked at winter coats. I had him try one on and it was a tad to snug on him. He was looking at one and he tried it on then said, “Oooo Bill, I like this one.”
I looked at the price and it was $200.00 but he would need a good warm coat now that the weather was turning cold. “It looks good on you kiddo,” I said as we headed for the checkout. “Go and get a set of long underwear and a pair of flannel lined jeans. It will be getting cold up north soon.”
“I’ll be fine Bill,” Randy said. “You’ve spent an awful lot of money on me already.”
“If you’re going to stay with me I want you dressed warm,” I said.
“You mean it?” He asked.
“That’s what I said,” I replied. “Now let’s get going. We still have a couple of hours left on the road tonight.”
I paid for Randy’s clothes then we went back out to the rig. I unlocked the doors with my remote and we climbed inside. I quickly started the engine and got it warm so we could have some heat. Randy tossed his coat into the back and we heard an indignant MEOW as the boy forgot about Ozzie. “Oh man Bill,” he said apologetically. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t tell me kiddo,” I laughed. “Tell Ozzie.”
I went inside the sleeper and got out a couple of hangers and hung Randy’s clothes in the wardrobe. I then pressed a button and lowered the top bunk and Randy said, “Cool man, this truck is amazing. I’ve never seen that before.”
“I didn’t know if I would want to get a co-driver so I had the hide-away-bunk installed,” I said. “You can use this one and have all the room you need.”
It’s huge Bill,” he said standing up looking at it. “But um, would you mind if I slept with you for right now?”
I’d never slept with anyone before but I didn’t really see it as a problem. “Sure Randy, that’s not a problem. Reach up into the top bunk and pull down some pillows.”
The engine was warm so I turned the heater on and headed out for our destination. I told Randy where my CD’s were but while he was looking for those, he came across my DVDs. “Hey Bill,” he said looking through some of the titles. “Can I watch a movie?”
Now I had several adult ones in there and I didn’t know which one he had. I asked, “What color is the case son?”
“It’s blue,” he said as he stuck his head out of the compartment.
“That’s fine son,” I said. “Did you take your shoes off before climbing in?”
“Yes Sir,” he said. “Can I get comfortable, these jeans are a little stiff?”
I had an extra pair of sweatpants in case he needed to pee before we went to sleep so I said, “That’s fine kiddo. Is Ozzie back there with you?”
“No Bill,” he said. “I haven’t seen him in a while.”
Now I know he was in the cab before we took off. “Come out here and lower the top bunk,” I said wondering if he jumped up there and is stuck.
I held on the wheel in case he jumped down on me as I heard the bunk lower. Sure enough, he jumped down into his seat (the passenger one) and started reading me the fur ball riot act. “Boy Bill,” Randy said giggling. “He’s really telling you off.”
Now Ozzie has a howl all his own. There is no mistaking his sound, especially when he’s pissed. “All right hair ball,” I said. “No body told you to jump up there to begin with, it serves you right.”
Ozzie was still indignant when we pulled into the place where my delivery was scheduled for. I set the parking brakes then lowered the blinds on the front windshield. “We’re here,” I said to Randy as I jotted the time down so I could do my log in the morning. “Have you got to pee? I’m going to take Ozzie out for a walk so he can do his business before I go to bed.”
Randy pulled his jeans back on then stuffed his feet into his shoes. He pulled his coat on then opened the door so he and Ozzie could get out. Ozzie hopped down and made a beeline for a small area of woods. Randy and I followed him and I saw him digging at the ground. While Ozzie was busy taking care of his business, Randy and I quickly took care of ours. We quickly relieved ourselves then waited on Ozzie.
As soon as we were back in the cab, I locked the doors and pulled the curtains around the windows. I swiveled my seat around then took my boots off and started getting undressed. Randy was well ahead of me and was already back in the sleeper in his underwear. When I was down to my boxers, I crawled into the sleeper and saw Randy looking at my other collection of DVDs. “What are these Bill?” He asked while he looked at the different discs.
Now being gay and a trucker is a contradiction in terms. All the ones I know are 100% straight and wouldn’t take kindly to being friends with one who is gay. “Uh well son,” I started trying to figure out how to tell him I was gay. “Those are adult movies.”
“Cool,” he said. “Think we can watch one?”
Talk about being in a dilemma. There wasn’t a straight movie in the bunch. I knew Kenny had made him do things with other truckers so he probably wouldn’t take kindly to me being gay. “Ah Randy, there is something I think you should know,” I said before getting comfortable in the sleeper. “I remember you telling me about the stuff Kenny forced you to do and how that made you feel. Well son, I don’t really care for girls. I ah well, I’m gay. Now please don’t think for a minute I did those things for you so I could hit on you later.”
“It’s OK Bill,” Randy said. “If you would have wanted to hit on me you would have done it when I was naked, but you didn’t. As for you being gay, that’s cool ‘cause I am too. I made the mistake of telling my mom two years ago and then one night when she was totally blitzed she told Kenny. That’s when my life went to hell in a hand basket.”
I wrapped my arm around his shoulder and held him then said, “Look Randy, I won’t let any one hit on you when we’re at truck stops. You’ve probably used the shower facilities there so you know there isn’t much privacy there.”
“Yeah,” he said. “I’ve seen all kinds of guys checking me out. A lot of them really gave me the willies too.”
I rubbed his head then said, “Any time we use the showers, we’ll be together. Don’t worry Randy; I wouldn’t let anything happen to you.”
I felt comfortable enough to stretch out and unwind a little as Randy said, “So, can we watch one of the movies?”
I looked at my watch and it was almost 1 in the morning and I really needed to get some sleep. “We’ll have plenty of time to watch one,” I said getting comfortable. “We’ll have time tomorrow night after we pick up our next load. You’ve had a pretty full day yourself, so how about we get some sleep?”
He yawned saying, “Yeah I have.”
I turned the light off and turned onto my side as I felt Randy spoon himself against my chest. I felt his hand feel around then pull my arm across his chest as I heard him drift off to sleep.
To be continued...