There were times when he’d just take off at a moment’s notice. He’d go anywhere; East coast, New England, Texas, out in the red clay of New Mexico. Always made sure there was gas in the truck. ‘Bout the only thing he was sure of.
He started taking these trips when he was a youngster. He’d save up money from working odd jobs and buy one way tickets all ’round the states. Taking off and roaming the streets of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago. His father called him the prodigal son. Every time He took off, daddy knew he’d return.
And return to what? a small town with two gas stations, a stop sign, and a tavern where locals kicked up their heels to old Bob Seger songs. The boy felt trapped. But, he’d soon learn that the whole country was one big trap.
Broke is broke, he said. You can be poor anywhere in America that you choose, he reckoned. It’s hard to find yourself in this land of opportunity. You look in the mirror each day and wonder. Just wonder, said the boy who’d become an old man.
There are those that sell insurance. And there are those that sell cars, or stocks, or television ads. Always selling something, he’d witnessed this from coast to coast. All I ever wanted was peace, he declared. Just peace. I think it’s too late for that.
Times are getting crazier. More and more people demanding you buy and sell. That’s all this land is about, he opened a beer and got into his truck. Turned on a country station. Merle Haggard was playing. He sang along. Put the key in the ignition. And was back on the road.
Some people have riches beyond their wildest dreams in America while others barely pull their weight. Then there’s those like him; a wild man that’ll never be tamed. Not a bad way to go.