Jamaican Storytelling: Excerpt from Gray Shades, Trucking (Erica) by Denise N. Fyffe

girl-in-bed-at-night courtesy of czarinacabuco

girl-in-bed-at-night courtesy of czarinacabuco

It’s the witching hour, 2 a.m. and Erica was lying on her back, in a trailer! Totally awesome!

Her first road trip in such a monstrous vehicular beast and her adventure was rife with intrigue, scary stories and yep, women of the night. They had stopped to get some food at a rest stop near Runaway Bay, beyond that there would be no guarantee of being fed before lunch time tomorrow.

Erica had gingerly climbed down the 5 feet drop to the roadside, stretched her cramped limbs and sauntered over to the entrance of the restaurant.

“What the Hell!” She exclaimed.

Conroy looked over at her chuckling at her reaction; normally Erica would not be caught dead or alive in a den of unholy immorality. “Lord have mercy, it’s got a go-go club” she gasped, as she looked over at a dancer, who obviously had spent more than a few decades in her profession. Erica was being kind. The establishment had a bar, a club and a restaurant in one. She guessed those were the essentials for trailer drivers these days.

Based on her observations, driving a trailer was not an easy job. The stress factors were unpredictable and life threatening; from running out of gas in the bush, to piston problems, to highway and bush robbers, to simply falling asleep at the wheel. These drivers had their plates full.

Even though they had to wait more minutes than she would have liked to spend in a go-go club, they finally got their food, used the restroom and Erica zipped out of there as fast as her feet could carry her. Muttering a few Psalms and praying for the cleansing of her mind and eyes.

Now bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and fretting on how safe they were parked here along the highway; she spent a few hours listening to the African pulse of her heart.

Losing the battle to her eyelids, she crashed at about 4 a.m.

I wanted adventure didn’t I? It seemed that I was going to have my prayer answered, but not too much i hope.

The next day Erica soaked up the adventure with an open mind. The country side was not new as she had travelled this route on dozens of occasions. But the vantage point wads new, when you were sitting ten feet up in the air.

Once she got home, her mind regurgitated the experience and she enjoyed it. The most exciting parts were driving in the night and experiencing those impromptu events. The first night of their journey, they got stuck in the hills of Barry; thankfully, just for over an hour. Then with a long line of box trucks and large size trailers before and behind them, they navigated through the cane fields; where they were delayed again because another trailer broke down.

Bunking in a trailer was not bad at all. Her friend, Conroy had two and it was almost like camping out in the elements. She had made it clear that she wasn’t going to be parking in any deserted areas. If someone didn’t sneak up and kill them, her overactive imagination certainly would. So to ease her worrisome mind, Conroy found a proper and safer rest stop.

Conroy did regale her with stories of trailers crossing the frigidly frozen seas in the Canada region and the many perils they faced. He mentioned that if the ice breaks with the trailer, they advised you to stay in the vehicle so that they can find your body. Also as the trailers travel over the ice; it broke but froze back quickly, in time for the back wheels to go over it.

“I guess I won’t be a trailer driver travelling from USA to Canada, no matter how much anyone was gonna pay me,” Erica muttered to herself.

On the trek, from the east coast to the north coast and back; she learnt about the parts of a trailer and how it operates. She saw firsthand how it was handled expertly through Mount Rosser. Erica grew to understand why other drivers needed to anticipate a trailers movements, giving it all the space it needed to navigate narrow roads and corners. One driver was not mindful of this on their journey back and his vehicle was damaged. She had also seen the camaraderie between the truck and trailer drivers that ply the roads on a daily basis.

Erica was truly thankful now, that she got out of the house and did not just pass her time in a boring mental haze on her couch.

More power to our Truckers!!

….Stay tuned for more…
By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2015, Denise N. Fyffe

Facing the challenges of a life filled with hurt, depression and suicidal tendencies; the journey towards transformation

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