About Me

I feel the wanderlust and the call of the open highway. Which is good, because I drive cars for a living. But I'm a writer, and someday hope to once again make my living using my writing skills.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I had not seen my old buddy Steve in Kentucky since just after his wife had died.  I was headed that way and called him, and he insisted that I stop over.  He said he had a surprise for me.

When I arrived, he ran out of the house and grabbed me tightly for a big hug.  Steve means a whole lot to me, always has, and I was tickled to see him.  A stern woman stuck her head out the door and called,  "Steve, please get in the house now, I need your help."

"Who is that?" I asked him after she'd gone back in.

"That's the surprise I told you about."  He dug his hands deep into his pockets.  "Her name is Carrie, and she is my, uh..."


"Yeah, I guess you could say that."

"The question is, can you say that."

He punched me playfully on the shoulder.  "Sure I can.  Girlfriend.  See, there, I said it."

"I'm glad you found someone.  I was worried about you after... you know."

"I lost my wife, and I grieved.  But now I met Carrie, and she has helped me more than you know."

I smiled.  "I'm glad, Steve."  We walked inside together, and I walked up to Carrie.  "Hi Carrie, I'm--"

"I know who you are," she snapped.  "Steve has told me all about you.  Frankly, he talks about you so much I'd almost think you guys were queer."

Steve shook his head.  "Oh, honey."

"Don't Oh Honey me, you need to set the table.  Dinner is almost ready."

"It smells very good," I offered.

"Oooo, praise from Bill Thomas.  I can die and go to Heaven now."  She chuckled and turned away.

"How did you two meet, Carrie?"

She spun around and looked at me with piercing eyes.  "You know what your problem is, Bill?  You are too damned nosey.  You need to learn to mind your own business."

Steve said,  "Hey Carrie, he's our guest."

She turned on Steve.  "You need to hush up and do your job."  She looked back at me.  "Just look at you, Bill.  You are rubbing your hands together nervously.  What's the problem?  You got something to hide?"

I looked down and realized she was right.  I was rubbing my hands together.  But I really didn't think there was any hidden agenda involved.  I grinned and asked,  "So what's for supper?"

"No, no, don't try to change the subject.  You know what your problem is, Bill?  You can't face the world directly, you are always looking for diversions.  You don't know how to look life square in the eyes."

"That's an interesting perspective," I said, trying to stay friendly.

"I'm just stating the plain, simple facts.  There's nothing subjective about it."

"OK, gotcha."

Steve walked up to me and patted me on the shoulders.  "So Bill, tell us about your latest adventures on the road."

Carried slammed her hand down on the kitchen counter.  "No sir, we do not need to hear about that crap.  If you want to know what he's doing out on the road, why don't you just read his stupid blogs?"

Steve stared at her.  "I always do."

"I know you always do, and there are more important things in life you should be focused on."  Then she pointed her finger directly at me.  "You know what your problem is, Bill?  You write about life instead of living it.  No wonder no woman ever wants to be with you."

"Beg pardon, who said no women want to be with me?"

"Isn't it obvious?" she asked

"Not to me."

"Well according to Steve, you are in love with a lesbian.  How weird is that?"

Steve spoke up.  "Carrie, this girl Karen and Bill have a long history.  It's not that cut and dried."

"Oh yes, it is that cut and it is that dried.   Don't try to tell me differently.  Bill has no idea what to do with his life."

I was taken aback.  "Really?  I don't?"

She leaned in towards me.  "You know what your problem is, Bill?  You are waiting for your ship to come in.  Every day you wake up and run to look out the window, just hoping that today will be the day your ship comes in.  I got news for you, its never coming in.  Learn to deal with that."

"Gee Carrie, you've given me a lot to think about."

"That's who I am and what I do.  I tell it like it is.  You don't have to tell me I'm right about you, because I see right inside of you.  I can see right through you.  When your head hits the pillow tonight, the last thing you're going to think is  'Wow, that woman really nailed all of my problems and shortcomings.'  I'm trying to help you."

"Thanks, I guess."

"You know what your real problem is, Bill?  You know some intensive therapy from a good psychotherapist.  Seriously.  For your own good, you need to deal with your screwed up situation.  Dinner is ready, let's eat."

The dinner smelled a whole lot better than it tasted.  I didn't say much, and neither did Steve.  Carrie had a lot to say, most of it not very positive.  After dinner, Steve and I walked outside.  I told him I was going to stay at a motel, and he was obviously hurt that I wouldn't be sleeping at his house.

"It's not because of Carrie, is it?  She doesn't mean any harm."

"Buddy, if she makes you happy, then I'm all for it.  But I'm not prepared to deal with a sleepover at that level of negativity.  She doesn't know me well enough to tell me what my problems are."

"My wife used to do it all the time.  You never seemed to mind."

"I hated it.  But I never felt empowered enough to do anything about it.  Guess I'm growing as a person, because I won't put up with that kind of crap anymore.  I care about myself."

Steve got emotional.  "I care about you, too.  You're my brother."

We hugged tightly, and I said into his ear,  "Love you too, bro."  Then I got into the car and drove sadly away. 

Monday, May 21, 2012


I had just delivered a car to Flint, Michigan when my boss Riff called with another job for me.  "Hello, my puckish little donut hole.  Are you ready for a new adventure?"

I noticed that he was slurring his words.  "Are you drunk, Riff?"

"Why ever would you ask me that, you pumpernickel polka dot?  It just so happens I am."

"Where's the pick up?"

"In Lansing, Michigan.  And let me tell you, this woman does not want to give up her car."

"Did she get fired?" I asked.

"Yes indeed, my little pussywillow."

"Send me the info, I'm on my way."  Much as I hate to, I caught a bus to Lansing.  But it wasn't Greyhound, it was Trailways, and not quite so bad.

By late that same afternoon, I arrived at the home of the woman.  She ran out the front door into her yard wearing a nightgown and said,  "Well hello.  Are you the gentleman who has come to steal my car?"

"Not steal, just return to your company.  I'm Bill Thomas."

She held out her hand as if she expected me to kiss it, like in old times.  "Charmed.  I am Miss Anna Versa.  And I must say, I am troubled that you are taking my lover."

This confused me.  "Um there must be some sort of misunderstanding.  I'm here for the car."

"That's what I said."  She hurried over to the black Ford Taurus in her driveway.  She proceeded to lay across the hood and roll around with seemingly nasty intentions.  "My lover."

"I just need to do a quick condition report, then I'll be out of your hair."

"Oh, you're not in my hair.  Although Jack here was many, many times.  More than I can count."


"My lover.  Who you are kidnapping right out from under me."

I tried to ignore this nonsense and began to quickly do the condition report.  She walked slowly around the car, pressing herself against it and rubbing her body on it.  "Do you have the keys?" I asked.

"Yes, I have the keys to my lover's heart."  She reached down into her ample cleavage and came up with a key, which she handed to me.  "Jack was quite a frisky lover, he liked to take me hard, and yes sir he liked it rough."  She giggled like a schoolgirl.

"I see."

"Jack is an impetuous boy, and yet he is a rugged, solid man.  You might say he's a bit of an enigma."

"I might."  I suddenly remembered a woman I met who said that her car was named Alice and she stole from her.  But this lady took car crazy to a whole new level.

She opened the door and climbed into the back seat, lying on her back and kicking her legs up in the air.  "I can't begin to tell you all the many times that Jack and I enjoyed carnal pleasures in the backseat.  He really knew how to ring my bell."

I was not about to ask her how she made love to a car.  The very idea was both disturbing and somewhat perplexing.  "How long since you've had the car serviced?"

She wagged a finger at me.  "Oh Bill, you naughty boy.  You want to know all of the lurid details.  Suffice it to say that I serviced Jack once a day, every day.  And each day was better than the one before.  If you know what I mean, and I think you do."

"I was talking about an oil and filter change."

She climbed out of the car. "Well, I poured Crisco oil all over my body.  Does that count?"

Writing as fast as I could, I tried to skip over any further questions.  Then without any warning, Anna fell to the ground and began to cry.  "Ma'am, are you OK?"

"No.  And I fear that I shall never be OK, not without Jack in my life.  Just because the powers that be decided to dismiss me from my job, they could have sold me Jack.  I offered to pay a huge sum, but they rejected me.  They seem determined to separate me from my one true love.  And you are the instrument of their chicanery."

"I don't know if I'd say that."

She pointed at me accusingly.  "Oh yes, it's you!  You!  You are the bastard that brings me pain and misery.  You are the creature who wants to break my heart.  And have you stopped to think what this will do to Jack?"  She got back up onto her feet, then began to lick the windshield.  Her tongue was long and talented.

"I'm almost done, then I'll be gone."

"And when you're gone, my lover will be gone.  My dear, sweet Jack."  She began to suck on her fingers, much the same way a child sucks its thumb.  She walked up to the front of the car and ran her hands ever so gently over the grill.  And then she leaned down to the front left headlight.  "Oh Jack, darling Jack, you have the most beautiful headlights in the world.  How will I get along without your high beams?"  She kissed the headlight for a long moment.

"OK, I just need you to sign here."  I handed her the paperwork.

"And what if I don't?"

"I think that Jack would want it this way."

She turned away from me dramatically.  Then she looked at me again and smiled.  "You're right, of course.  Jack was always the sensible one in our relationship."  She signed the paperwork and then ran into the house crying.

As I drove down her street, I patted the steering wheel.  "Well Jack, we have a long ride ahead to Atlanta.  Are you up for it, buddy?"  But Jack said nothing.  He was probably still sad over leaving Anna.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


On my way to Minnesota last week, I stopped off at a small rural gas station.  I was very low on fuel, and had to run to the restroom.  When I came out of the restroom, which was around the back of the building, I heard a faint voice call out to me.  "Can you help me?  Please sir?"

I looked over and saw a small, withered old woman sitting on the ground wearing tattered clothes.  She had a rag tied around her head, and she looked sad and troubled.  At first I thought it was just another one of "Bill's people" and I wanted to flee.  But something about her and the way she sat reminded me very much of the little old bird woman in MARY POPPINS.  That song FEED THE BIRDS has always haunted me, and it is from one of my favorite all time movies.

"Help me, please?" she said again.

"What do you need?" I asked.

"I just need a little bit of money to get a bite to eat.  If you will help me, I will read your fortune."

"Read my fortune?"  I was skeptical, but have learned over the years to keep an open mind.  Mostly I just felt for her and wanted to help her out.  I reached into my pocket.  "I only have four dollars cash right now."

"That will do, give it to me."  I handed over the cash.  "Now come closer and give me your hand."

I did as she said, then smiled and said,  "Don't you have a crystal ball?"

"Hush!" she demanded.  Her hands were dirty, but I let her take my own freshly washed hand and feel it.  First she pressed lightly on the flesh of my palm, then she ran her fingers lightly over the lines in my hand.  Suddenly, she squeezed tightly and closed her eyes and made a face of deep concentration.  It was as if she were drifting away.

"You OK?"

"Shh!  Hush now!" she commanded me.  And I did what she said.  She kept her eyes closed and began to chant.  "You drive very far, long distances, every day."

"How did you --"

"Hush!" she interrupted.  "You have many friends who love you, yet you are lonely.  You are looking for answers, but aren't quite sure you know the questions.  You want to find your father... no, you lost your father...  no, wait...  your father died and yet you still search for him.  You have dreams that you don't make come true.  You just drive."

I had chills running up and down my back.  How in the world could she know all of this about me.  It was as if she were inside my soul rummaging around.

"You care about others, sometimes more than you care about yourself.  You try so hard to help other people, but many times it works out badly.  You try to do unto others, and live by a code of honor that others see as a sign of weakness."  She held one hand high up in the air.  "You must stop.  You must take inventory and learn to relax.  You have a good heart, but no one to share it with.  There is hope for you yet, but only if you find the key to unlock the anguish in your heart, and then dispose of it.  Get rid of it!"

I nodded.  "Anything else?"

"Yes.  Beware of the marshes, the mire and the muck.  Beware of the swamps that hide killer ducks."

I shook my head.  "What does that mean?"

"Take heed!  Mark my words!"


"Now go.  And have a lovely day."

I hurried to my car and drove away.  This was rather eerie.  She knew so much personal information about me.  But the warning about the ducks at the end was oddly mysterious.  I got out my CD case and popped in the MARY POPPINS soundtrack.  Put on the song FEED THE BIRDS, because it was on my mind and I really love that song.  I've read that it was Walt Disney's favorite song, also.