The Giant White Truck

Walking the dogs I came upon an elderly man prepping his giant white truck to pull his giant white RV to Long Beach, something he does about every six weeks. He accosted me, in a kindly way, and told me all about how the reason his truck is so noisy when starting is because there’s 30K pounds of pressure in it forcing the diesel through really fast to prep it for burning, so fast, the truck dealer told him, the stuff literally breaks the sound barrier. He told me about how his father used a .22 to shoot rabbits to get the family through the depression and how his father had binocular vision. (I’m not sure how we got to shooting rabbits.) He somehow segued to a story about how a hiking trip turned scary, in 1967, when the fair weather suddenly became a blizzard, and then sleet; a flood came round the canyon and wetted him to the bone and nearly washed him away; how he’d given his future wife his gloves in the blizzard and they turned her hands black. I told him about how Audie Murphy had done the same with his .22 re rabbits, and that pleased the old gent. Then he told me another story–and the manner of each story, a good many in one 10 minute conversation, was like a man on his deathbed remembering his life, though this man was spry. But it was age I was hearing, a gerontological phenomenon, the brain delivering up buried narratives, memories worked together in great detail, toward the end. It was a kind of neurological pattern in memory. It just had that tracery, the way woodgrain has its own.

He didn’t bore me. There was a great deal more, and it was all interesting…It just seemed like a merging of the neurological and the archaeological…

I assume my own brain is making deposits, laying the groundwork for future neurological/ archaeological digs…

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