Tuesday, July 20, 2010

TEARS OF A TRUCKER

 by Martha Williams

   The film drones on in sympathetic harmony with our day and I would have listened in another circumstance, but you are here. Beside me.
   I down a whisky and hope the film will take a hold.

   Men running. Guns. A door creaks and you are bound, so I dare to look at you. Shadows of running men sprint across your profile, the guns jump under your skin, the door freezes you, and all the while your skin shines, begging for me. No, no, it's not; I'm the beggar. I am a greasy trucker to your swan; biscuits and gravy to your Chardonnay. I want to watch you thrash and fuck and laugh, whereas I am sure you prefer flowers.

   You slide a piece of popcorn past your lips. I want to grab a handful and cram it into my mouth, perhaps I want to ram my face into the bowl, shake my head and watch the pieces fly. Would that shock you? Not as much as the trucker. Because that's not how you know me.

To you, I am a shadow by a school gate, a reflection in the local pool, a vessel that once held your children's friends. I am the mirror that speaks in shop dressing rooms. I am as slim as you. I use the same perfume. The same shampoo. My lipstick is darker than yours.

I pass you a drink and you say, Oooh, great, I love you.
   Your arms rest easy on my shoulders. Your smile laughs free. If my head were bowed, you'd lean into me and jog me back.
   You say, he doesn't understand me.
   And I think, but I do.
   But I know you wouldn't understand me. I don't understand me. A girl with a face full of food. A trucker full of lust in a girl's shirt. A trucker with breasts that want to press against your own so hard that our bellies meet all the way down. A mouth that licks better than it kisses. Kisses better than it speaks. Bites when it can't do anything better — pass the bloody popcorn.

You stretch and hot, holy damn you throw your feet over my leg; just how comfortable are you there? I want to rip off those darned stupid socks and pull your jeans down so hard your ass falls off the couch. I want to grab you under your knees and plunge...
   Tea?
   What?
   Or wine?
   Whisky. For fuck's sake.
   What's up?
   I look at you. I've had too much whisky already; God knows what another will do. My eyes are melting. You say my name. I shrug, sorry. You pause, so I tell you I'm drunk. I always get maudlin when I'm drunk. You give me another whisky anyway, and I love you for that.

   You flop back onto the couch. You lean your head against the same cushion as me and I feel your warmth through our hair. You flick the channels, that film wasn't so hot after all. I wonder, slightly scared now, whether you noticed me staring at you — but no. Our fingers graze each other's in the popcorn, and neither of us apologizes... but only because you haven't noticed.

  An embarrassed guy on TV. You laugh. I smile. Part of me relaxes. This is OK. Two friends. Everything in common. This is just fine. Deep inside, the tears of a trucker wet places that only I know.
   The guy on TV has trashed his car.
   Shit car anyway, you say.
   I shrug. The trucker is strangling my smile.
   I never understood flash cars, you say.
   Mmm.
   What the hell's a car, 'cept a truck that never grew big enough. And you turn to face me.

   And we smile girls' smiles that turn into big trucker grins and you're so right about the cars, I think, as you strip off those stupid socks.

Martha Williams likes the word ‘so’ because it makes everything more so, explains everything just so, and then asks, ‘so?’ and moves on. So... here’s Martha: www.marthawilliams.org



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