Man Of Few Words

You gotta come from somewhere, he said. You just don’t show up from nowhere. Outta the blue. There’s gotta be some kind of history about you, he sipped at his coffee and lit a cigarette. A tall waitress came by and filled their cups. They both watched as she walked away. What’re you driving? the young man looked away. You driving a Peterbilt? That’s what I drive. Hauling pigs. Taking pigs to slaughter. You gonna say anything? I can’t do all the talking. Well, I suppose I could, the old man said. It’s polite to join in these conversations. To participate, the young driver just looked down the counter and grabbed sugar packets. Added cream from a small pitcher. Hey. I’m talking to you. Fine. You don’t want to talk. We’ll just sit here. Just sit here.

Time passed in silence. The old man looked up at the clock. Two in the morning. The young man kept ordering more coffee with the pointing of a finger. The redhead server obliged. They’d been sitting at that counter all night long. Both had finished their breakfast. The old man had eggs and bacon whereas the young driver pointed at the picture of pancakes. Dwight Yoakam’s Million Miles From Nowhere played on the radio. The old man hummed along.

Would you be quiet? the young man asked.

He speaks. I was beginning to wonder. Thought you was a mute.

I just need silence, he said.

Understood. We all get that way sometimes. When I’m home I don’t want any noise on at all. Just as silent as silent can be. What’s on your mind? The young man looked at him and did not say a word. Went back to quiet. The silent treatment. I gotcha. See you on down the road, the old man said. Take her easy.

The young man sat there looking at the clock. Watching the seconds go by. Motioned for another cup of coffee. Then he began to laugh. Just quietly laugh. A Johnny Cash song came on. He tipped the waitress and walked out to his truck. Picked up his phone and began to dial. No-one answered. He thought that was a good thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: