Despite the nastyness of the scene I just finished (the last of the dead trucker do-over), right now it feels shiny, twinkly, and bright.
happy happy joy joy!
ps - Feeling celebratory means sharing the (resurrected) trucker section. What you need to know: #1 - rough first draft snipping, devoid of edits, so there are a few placeholder items that may jump out at you as being stupid. Ideally, you will note those as placeholders and read on.... #2 - likely grammar, structure, spelling errors, and factual flaws. #3 - this section describes how a character in the story (set in a Quite Small Town) goes missing. The barmaid is Not the M.C. :-)
With little ado about not terribly much...... Ivan the terrible trucker snippet (not his real name. And, sadly, partially based on Real People)
Ivan the terrible trucker (guilty of, among other things, disappearing when most needed) was edging toward 50 (and his commensurate midlife crises) at a steady clip, with a complete lack of grace, socially acceptable behavior, and awareness of his own personal repugnance. The love affair with his long-absent 22 year-old self-image was the only one that ever had any traction, and went a long way toward explaining his unwanted, and occasionally violent, interactions with the opposite sex.
When he rolled into town at the beginning of September, he was en route to some of the last turbine-part driving jobs in Ontario. Ivan knew the ‘lay of the land’ (he’d say, jabbing elbows into whomever was unfortunate enough to neighbor him at the bar) here ‘up north’ and was even on nodding turns with some of the middle aged lot-lizards at the truck stops. One of them, a patchy-scalped skinny chick named Patrice – typical liar, said she was 30 - told him she danced each Thursday (alumni) night at a boob-joint called “The Pit”.
Not refined enough to be called a ‘club’, and in many ways, an offhand tribute to the surviving strip-mining operation here, The Pit offered the illusion of camaraderie with a greasy veneer of commerce-cum-romance. Ivan had passed it from time to time, but, dark windows being dark windows, had never gone in. Usually a drinker at Tuna’s (another story altogether) the next town over, he’d just never made it. Despite his avoidance in the past, when he rolled into the driveway, his gruesome history with women was at hand and already waiting behind the bar.
Jeannette Fletcher flashed a quick look at her ‘hit list’ when the slam of an unfamiliar truck door caught her ear. Although she was the early shift barmaid, she’d started developing a nose for trouble in her first six months at the Pit. Trouble wasn’t steady – usually just outsiders up to the Range for one reason or another, and the occasional odd-duck trucker. Not hard, then, to note future headaches for the night shift if a problem came through the door more than once. When she’d agreed to take this job – god damn this economy anyway – it had been with the agreement that she could speeddial the cops at any moment, for any reason. Her ex had given her hair-trigger nerves, among other things – which made her uncannily good at noting when things might go south. The customer about to walk in raised beaucoup flags with her memorized cheat-sheet of known Range troublemakers.
Tommy at the station was # six. She memorized Ivan’s licence plate through the dim glass - a warning in and of itself, since drinking before sunset meant starting at 4:30. Jeanette waved Marcus (at the pull tabs) up to the bar, and stepped into the office when Tommy said hello.
Three hours later, grousing about Patrice’s no-show and the flat impossibility of getting pizza delivery at this shithole bar, Ivan chugged his last amaretto sour as the bouncer gave him a sharp look. In general, Ivan was thick as lead, but he’d been tossed out of enough dives to know go-time from the bouncer’s hands. Rising from his stool in an Aqua Velva cloud, unsatisfied and boozy, he dropped a twenty on the bar and stalked out, straight past the bouncer, eyes glued to the door. This fixed his eyes one hundred-eighty degrees from the back entrance, where Patrice, jaunty pink chiffon scarf hiding her thinning hair, crossed herself quietly, then vigorously flipped him off.
Ivan, too horny and tipsy to focus on anything but digging out his keys, didn’t see the movement in the shadows on the dark side of his truck. Noting natures call, he stumbled toward the shadowy, dusty side of the lot, unzipping with the wrong kind of urgency. Pissing out his frustration in the dark, he tried to spell out “Patreese”. He got as far ‘t’ when he heard a young but low voice say ‘hey. Buddy. You dropped something.” Turning too fast, hot urine splashing him, eyes maladjusted to the streetlights, the glint of light on the crowbar was the last thing to go through his mind.