Once upon a time, in a far away land (Albuquerque) my sister and I were young and naïve.
An awesome movie was released. Joy Ride. Being the tough chick I am, we went to the theater to see it. All I can really say is that the whole thing was traumatic. TOO much … everything. It was too close to home. All the scenes on I70, I80 and I25 were too much. Having my father and uncle (among others) being truck drivers and doing a ride along on these routes made me freak out. A lot. Rusty Nail and Candy Cane make me want to move to Canada.
Regardless of the emotional and physiological scarring, I have moved on. Kinda.
ANYWAY, a few weeks later, our sweet uncle mike was driving through town. We agreed, not knowing the danger we were in, to go meet him for dinner. At the truck stop. In the dark. By ourselves. Alone. Two girls, 21 and 17.
We find his truck, which was not easy on a Friday night in the city at a truck stop. Not as smart as you would think. We crawl up on the truck and knock. After a few?! minutes, he crawls up to the front and opens the door for up. After crawling up into the truck, we see how awesomely small it is. He is sitting in his bunk, wrapped in a blanket, wearing only ‘stocks’. Talking up a storm, we mention the movie and how scary it was.
‘Oh, I have a friend that goes by Rusty Nail!! Lets see if we can get ahold of him on the CB.’
No. Bad idea. It is at this point he turns the radio on and we hear all kinds of talking. MOSTLY about the two cute girls that just crawled into that truck!! Trying not to freak out, Uncle Mike picks up his mic and starts talking.
‘Jealous, I can see. Two good looking girls are in my truck, and you’re all alone!’
AT this point, they start asking all kinds of questions.
- where’d you get the girls?
- how much for the lot lizards?!
- when will you be done with them?!
- want to share?
We might have freaked out. May of even called our mother to come pick us up. IF we weren’t in the car … nah, we would of had to drive home. I wish I can say it got better. It did not. This conversation just got … weirder. The stuff that was said. The terror we felt. The amount of AJAX and brillo pads we had to use to try and get clean that evening. That makes it sound worse.
Scarred is what we were.
In case you didn’t notice, my uncle was a bit of a turd. I remember that when I was young, his absolutely favorite way to wake me up was to sneak in, grab my leg and tickle my foot. He thought he was funny.
I have a thousand stories. About him being able to find food anywhere in the world. I trusted him … 86% of the time regarding food. There were a few things that where no good. If anyone ever offers you Treet, DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT EAT IT! Best way to describe it is cat food mixed with liver, that was placed into a spam can. It wasn’t even that good.
About his ‘stock’ and ‘under roos’, many of the made up words that made it into so many of our vocabularies. His love for the Colorado Rockies and Denver Broncos was unwavering. No matter how bad they did.
The way he loved all of us.
The little cigars he smoked. Horrible, yet strangely missed.
It has been a few days since he died, and it seems like a million years, and at the same time three hours.