Susan Bee and A. D. Monroe

Susan Bee

The Red Truck
By A.D. Monroe

Inspiration piece

It’s Thanksgiving week in New England and I’m looking out the window from my second floor. A cloud cover flattens the sky. The clouds are the color of forgotten, useless, and unneeded stonewalls. The grey sky dulls everything with a no-color.

Right outside my window is a tree that still has some leaves on it. The dry, crisp leaves are the brown color of hanging on too long. And down in the yard, directly across from me, is a cinder block garage that juts off from an old barn. Half of it is covered with English ivy. The tired, early winter light sucks all the green color out of the ivy.

It’s like a picture of quiet desperation outside my window.

A good day for old hurts to seep back in.

Then when I stretch and look out to the left, I can see a red truck. It’s older and boxy and squared off. A Dodge Ram maybe? I’m not much on trucks, so I don’t know. But something about this truck lights a child-spark in me.

The hubcaps are metal and shiny, like someone wanted to cover the ho-hum of lug-nuts with party bowls. And the front grill, headlights, and bumper seem to give the truck a face – mischievous, fun loving, a cocky glint.

The truck’s bed is painted flat black and can carry a half-ton load. No doubt the loads to haul are messy, things you’d rather not and really don’t want to do. Things that hurt.

Like the dream-bedroom set from a broken marriage – off to Goodwill. Like the piles of junk-stuff that collects in an attic for decades, then has to be trashed when someone dies. Off to the town dump. But be careful to bring the sensitive papers to the office supply store. And get those papers shredded, turned into ribbons of forgotten even when you don’t want to forget and forgetting is too painful.

And if the load is too big for the truck’s bed, hell, there’s a hitch on the back.

So let’s do it.

Something about the truck. Quiet desperation isn’t going to eat away at it like rust. Some days hurt, some days don’t. Mess piling up, then hauling mess off – it is the way it goes. But no matter how heavy the load, the truck has a way to haul it. And the truck will get it done with bright party bowls and a cocky glint.

I’m glad drab winter days can’t suck the red color out of that truck.

I like seeing it outside my window.


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One Comment

  1. Posted December 11, 2014 at 12:36 pm | #

    An original, vivid, valiant presentation of what despair looks like and what it’s like to steal the keys and ride on back into the bright red red of life just because. Brave and beautiful and sad.