I recently rediscovered Gormenghast. It was a book series and BBC television miniseries that my old friend Val used to love. She introduced me to it not long after we met, and I’d forgotten all about it until a week or so ago.
Last night I dreamt that Val was still alive and that we were hanging out in her childhood apartment near the park in Euless, Texas, where we used to talk and hang out. We were talking about Gormenghast. I don’t remember the conversation well, but it was good to see her again.
Then my alarm rang and I woke up and remembered: Val died just over a year ago, and I’m nowhere near Euless. I’m parked at a truck stop, it’s 5am, and I’m driving to Illinois today. Kind of a jarring moment.
I still miss her. I think I always will. I’m not a religious man, but I believe people live on in our memories, affecting our lives through our choices and our thoughts. I have a copy of the first book in the Gormenghast series, and I’ll be reading it once I finish my current novel.
Traffic was rough in Houston. Why do people think it’s okay to cut in two feet in front of a semi then put on the brakes? Readers, don’t be that person. Give trucks respect. Give yourself a cushion. At 55mph, a truck takes the length of a football field to come to a complete stop. Two feet isn’t going to cut it. I don’t care how big and bad you think you are in your car. Your car won’t save you when you’re being plowed through by a semi. You’ll be a stain on the pavement. Be smart. Drive safe.
9:30, we had finished dropping our load and picking up another, then we were on our way, with a 20-hour drive ahead of us. I slept for a couple more hours while the trainer drove, so I’d have the energy and alertness to keep driving through the night. Sleeping is not easy in a rolling truck, but it’s possible. We plan to arrive in Illinois around 5am, so I will be doing plenty of driving tonight. I’ve never driven a truck at night, so this will be a new experience for sure. Wish me luck!