A good friend told me the other day that some of my blog entries are too dark. “Lighten up, Bill,” he said, “People just want to laugh.” And my hope is that the tales I share are often amusing, through the sheer absurdity of the crazy folks I come across. I’m just living my life and driving cars around the USA.
My daily routine is simple. Unless I stay at a friend’s house, I wake up in a motel room. Splash water in my face. Do my morning push ups and sit ups. Jumping jacks, windmills, running in place. Take a long shower, and then hit the road. Life of a driving fool.
I get a morning call from my boss Riff, who yells at me and berates me. I find its best just to let him rant, arguing with him only makes things worse. I have a lot of miles to cover, and I do it best when I’m just left alone. Quietly. Calmly.
When I do feel stress from traffic, I put on a CD of George Strait. CARRYING MY LOVE FOR YOU. Or ALL MY EXES LIVE IN TEXAS. I particularly like THE BEST DAY, about the relationship of a father and son over the years. And of course his cover version of THE SEASHORES OF OLD MEXICO. But if I had to pick a favorite, I’d have to say A BETTER RAIN. That one gets to me every time. Thank God for George Strait, who helps me get down the road when I think I can’t drive one more mile.
Customers rage at me. Bill’s people find me at every gas station, truck stop and Diner I stop at. And so many drivers are full of hate and anger, often taking it out on me for no particular reason. None that I am aware of, anyhow.
But I just keep on driving. Don’t have a home of my own. No car, no steady job to speak of. Other than driving. And so I drive. I pray for deliverance, for something good to happen in my life that will take me off the road and allow me to have some stability once again. I had it once, surely I can get it back.
I try to be friendly and kind and courteous even in the face of adversity. I still believe that the Golden rule is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But I think that most folks practice the new version, which is “Do unto others before they can do it to you.”
There is so much anger, bitterness and hatred in the world. Which is why I try my best to spread a little bit of sunshine wherever I go. Wishing people a Happy Monday (or fill in whatever day of the week it is). Not talking on the cell phone when someone in a store is trying to wait on me. Not talking on my cell in a movie. Being thoughtful of others, and trying to put other people’s needs before my own. I think that is what we are here for, and if more people could share this attitude, the world might just be a better place.
My motto has become “How can I help?” I ask this often to people I meet, almost every single day. Many times I get burned or taken advantage of. Yet I still take the risk and ask, because the times I can actually help someone… well sir, it just makes it all seem worthwhile. Love thy neighbor. Reach out to a friend in need. It will come back to you tenfold.
As I drive around this great country and I see many people and places, I am convinced that there is good within everyone. Some bury it a lot deeper than others, but its there. I say we celebrate the good and try our best to help others, even as we help ourselves. Other than that, drive safely, keep both hands on the wheel, and avoid the temptation of texting while driving.
This is your friendly driving fool signing off-- for now.