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.

Monday, September 30, 2013


I had just delivered a car in Indianapolis.  I was feeling sort of melancholy and introspective.  Why was I still driving cars all over the country when it wasn't getting me anywhere?  Well, it got me from Point A to Point B, but it wasn't moving me forward in my life.  Bill Thomas, driving fool, lonely guy.  Something was missing from my life, and I just...  Lots of confusion, frustration and sadness flooded over me.

I walked downtown trying to clear my mind.  Think happy thoughts!  I walked past the Cafe where Karen used to work, only now it was just an empty space, not being used for anything.  Karen, my one true love, my fantasy girl.  Too bad she liked girls more than me, but I still loved her anyway.  Guess that says a lot about me.

Last time I saw her was last Thanksgiving at her home in Richmond, when I had the misfortune of taking a pain pill while drinking and getting all whacked out.  I professed my deep love for her and said I wanted her to be my wife.  Really freaked her out, and I hadn't had the chance to try to fix the situation.  Or more correctly, I had not yet made the effort.

I felt a poke in the middle of my back.  I turned around and couldn't believe my eyes.  It was Karen, standing right there in front of me.  "Karen, what are --"

"Shh!" she said.

"But I--"

She grimaced.  "I said SHH!"

"How did you--"

She interrupted me by putting her finger to my lips.  "Don't talk.  Don't say a word.  Just come with me."  She took my hand and led me down the block.  We turned down a street and went a few more blocks, then entered a very nice hotel.  She took me to the elevator and we went to the next to the top floor.  We got off and went down the hall, and she took out a key and opened a door.

"Karen, please tell me--"

She yanked me into the room behind her.  "What is it that you don't understand about SHH?  Be quiet, OK?"

I nodded.  But I really did want to know what was going on, why she was here, how she found me, and a lot of other questions.  Last time I saw her things were tense and dicey, so I wanted to know where we stand.  I watched her sit down and take off her shoes.  I knew I was supposed to keep my mouth shut, but I had to ask.  "Karen, last time I saw you things were kind of messed up.  Are we--"

This time she put her entire hand over my mouth.  She shook her head and laughed.  "Shut up and kiss me, will you?"  I didn't hesitate for a second, I grabbed her and kissed her passionately on the lips.  It had been a long time, although I had dreamed of this more times than I could count.  And the reality was so much better than the fantasy.

Four hours later, I woke up in the bed alone. I hoped it hadn't all been a dream.  And then Karen walked out of the bathroom, dressed and ready to go.  "Thank you," she said.

"No, no, thank you!"

"I needed that."

"Well I'm very glad I could be of service."

"Just don't ruin it and tell me that you're in love with me."

"OK.  But I am, you know."

She nodded and let out a sigh.  "Yep, I know."  She walked over to the door. "Can you let yourself out?  I have to get back to the east coast and make sure my new Cafe hasn't burned down or anything."

"You're leaving?"

"I have a flight leaving in two hours.  Gotta go."  She started to open the door and then turned around to face me.  "Cheryl died a week ago.  She's been sick for a while, that's why I had to rush off last Thanksgiving.  To be with her.  I was here for the funeral."  I didn't know what to say.  Cheryl was her ex-lover, and though they had split up Karen could not seem to get over her.

"I'm sorry to hear."

"No you're not.  But that's OK.  I thought I'd walk over and take a look at the old restaurant that we ran together, and there you were.  Just when I needed you."

I shrugged.  "I'm sincerely sorry that you are hurting."

She smiled at me.  "Come see me in Richmond soon.  I miss you all the time."

"Count on it," I told her.  She walked out the door, and my heart went with her.

Monday, September 16, 2013


As I drove through Minnesota, my cell phone rang.  "Hello, this is Bill."

"Bill?  Bill who?"  I recognized the voice of sweet old Mrs. Sherman, whose car I moved up north in the summer, and back down to Florida for the winter.  At the age of 95, she was active but got confused sometimes. "Who is this?"

"Mrs. Sherman, its me, Bill Thomas, your favorite driver."

"Oh Bill, yes, yes, my little Bill.  I am so glad you called me, I have been thinking about you."

"That's nice to hear."

"Yes of course.  Bill, I have a question, I'm deeply concerned."

"Well, what's the problem?"

"I was watching my TV the other night, and a young girl was on in her underwear doing some type of dance or something.  But it looked more to me like the kind of actions a woman would reserve for her husband in the bedroom.  Do you understand my meaning?"

I smiled.  "Yes, quite clearly.  I think you are talking about Miley Cyrus."

"No, I don't think that was her name."

"She also used to go by the name of Hannah Montana."

There was a long pause.  "Now Bill, I know you're just teasing me.  No one would have a silly name like that."

"It was the name of her character on a Disney channel TV program."

"Really?  Are you serious?"

"I am."

"My goodness gracious."

"Miley was a teen goddess while on that show, and now she's trying hard to break free of that image."

"Bill, I can tell you that Mr. Walt Disney would not have approved of what I saw her doing on TV."

"I'm quite sure you're right, ma'am."

"She was moving and shaking and humping and pumping."

"Yes, I saw it."

"She was gyrating till the cows come home.  It was just plain nasty."


"What is happening to our world, Bill?  Can you please tell me?  First Syria, and now this Miley girl doing that naughty nonsense."

"They call it twerking."

"Oh go on!"

"No really, that's what they call it.  Miley was twerking."

"Well sir, she was doing something that should not be done in mixed company.  Much less on TV where hundreds of people can see her.  Maybe even thousands."

"Maybe even millions."

"Oh goodness, I hope not.  Bill, I am baking my famous blackberry cobbler, I wish you were here to try it later tonight."

"So do I, but I'm in Minnesota."

As she spoke, it sounded as if her voice were cracking.  "I miss you, when can you come see me again?"

"Next time you want your car moved, I'll be there."

She hesitated.  "Does it have to wait till then?  Could you just come visit when you're in the neighborhood?  I've grown very fond of you, Bill."

"As I am of you, Mrs. Sherman.  But right now I'm in Minnesota."

"Oh, OK.  Well thank you for thinking of me and calling me tonight."  She hung up the phone.

I smiled as I thought about her watching Miley doing the twerking routine on MTV.  And that's when my front tire blew out.  It was a chilly night, and I did not look forward to having to change a flat in the dark.  But that's the life of a driving fool.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Yesterday I was in a diner in upstate New York, not too far from Rochester.  I was taking a break from the road, sitting at the counter enjoying a diet Dr. Pepper and slice of apple pie.  The waitress offered me a slice of cheddar cheese on the pie, which I had never heard of.  Had many scoops of ice cream on pie over the years, but never cheese.  I tried it and found out I enjoyed it very much.

A hefty, rugged-looking man came and plopped down at the counter two seats from me.  He turned to me as if we already in the middle of a conversation and asked,  "Think we're gonna?"

"Excuse me?" I asked.

"Think we're gonna?"

"Think we're gonna what?"

He looked at me as if I were dense. "You think we're gonna go?"

"Think we're gonna go where?"

"To Syria, to bomb the hell out of those bastards?"

"Uh, well I really don't know."  I knew to tread carefully, politics could be an explosive discussion topic.

"You know that Obama the Messiah wants us to go," he said with a sneer.

"Does he?"

"Oh come on, now you know he does.  But consider this:  Why does Obama insist on moving forward with this punishing strike against Syria?"

"I'm really not sure."

"And you're not the only one!" he exclaimed.  "Best case scenario,  we slap the Syrians down a few pegs for using chemical weapons, they learn their lesson and go on killing their political rivals with conventional weaponry instead."  He turned and called out to the waitress.  "Hey Maggie, how about a cup of coffee over here."

"The pie is good," I offered, trying to possibly change the subject.

"The pie is always good, but I bet they aren't enjoying pie over in Syria.  Don't forget the other side of the coin."

"Which is?"

"The worst case scenario.  That would be that we try to strike Syria only to encounter Russian military defending them."  Maggie brought him the coffee and set it in front of him without saying a word.  She seemed to be having a bad day and turned on her heel.  "And in the meanwhile Iran makes good on it's threat of retaliation against our ally Israel, emboldening other radical Muslim nations to join in.  And so with the purge of Jews in Israel and the middle east and attacks against any and all us embassies and military bases..."  He stopped and shook his head, then went silent.

Maggie came back quickly and pointed at me.  "You need anything else?"

"No thanks," I replied.

She turned to the man who had been speaking to me, and the tone of her voice suggested tension between them.  "You want pie, Jesse?"

He fumed.  "No I do not want pie!  I want democracy."  She threw her hands into the air and walked away.  
"The USA and France will just be standing there like two kids caught with their hand in the cookie jar until other nations, outraged by the destruction in Israel join in and we start World War 3."

"I really do hope not," was all I could think to say.

"Of course you hope not.  We all hope not.  But hope has nothing to do with this.  The other countries around the world do not support what we are planning, or I should say, what Obama is planning.  And now he is hiding behind Congress, saying that they have to authorize."

"Are you sure about that?"

He laughed.  "Am I sure?  Yes, I am very sure."  His cell phone rang, playing the Battle Hymn of the Republic.  "This is Jesse.  What?  Yep, I can be right over."  He hung up and gulped down the entire cup of hot coffee.  "Listen partner, I got to run.  Can you take care of this coffee for me?  Thanks a bunch!"  He ran out of the diner before I could answer.  But I guess I can afford a cup of coffee for a fellow American.