Phase 2, Day 25: In Memoriam

Sometimes unfortunate things happen that are entirely beyond your control, things you’d rather avoid but can’t. As a truck driver, one of these things is roadkill. Two days ago, a beautiful orange Maine Coon crossed the road in front of my truck, failing to see me coming until it was too late. It stopped directly in my path and looked at me in shock. There was nothing I could do. I felt every bump as its body was crushed beneath my tires. I was mortified.

My partner suggested that I get a teardrop tattoo to memorialize my first kill, but unfortunately, this wasn’t my first. During Phase 1, I killed a bird when it flew into my windshield. And today, as I entered Pennsylvania, two birds were flying together and swooped in front of my truck. One managed to avoid me, but the other wasn’t so lucky. It bounced off my hood, then again off the dome-top of my tractor. I thought, I hope those birds don’t mate for life, or the survivor will be forever alone.

Before we were married, my wife was hit by a car as she crossed the street near our college campus. I’m glad she survived; I can’t imagine my life without her. I thought about this when that bird died today.

I may not get a teardrop tattoo, but I do want to memorialize the animals I’ve killed so far, as well as the ones I’m likely to kill in the future. Most truckers see this as just another part of the job, but I don’t want to dismiss these deaths so callously. They might be unavoidable, but they still weigh heavy on my heart. I consider all life sacred. Including the millions of bugs that I’ve washed off my windshield in the past couple months.

If anyone can think of a good way to memorialize these fallen creatures, feel free to contact me and let me know! I’d love your input.

In other news, after making my delivery this morning, I was given another pre-plan for a load going from Pennsylvania all the way to California, a solid 3,000 miles. My teammate was pretty happy about that! We also got paid today, and it was a nice big paycheck, so I’m hopeful that his mood and outlook will improve.

We swapped drivers around 5pm, and I headed back to the sleeper to catch some Z’s. But first, I shared the news of the California load and the big paycheck with my wife, who was thrilled about both. The paycheck will definitely help, since we’ve had some big bills lately, and the miles will bring me much closer to my goal. After this run, we’ll have completed about 35% of our 40,000, which is a sizable chunk.

I’m eager to see California again. It’s been at least six years since I spent a month in San Diego, and I miss it. Granted, were not headed to San Diego, but it’s California nonetheless!

Well, I’m going to settle down for some rest now. I’ll be back tomorrow or Saturday with more, so stay tuned! Much love, all. Goodnight.

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