Fleeting Connections at a Truck Stop


Under a gray sky on a cool, July morning a large, smiling, middle-aged black man, pushing a dolly loaded with sodas and colas, disappears into the truck stop outside Emporia, Kansas. Someone holds the door for him and I hear a “Thanks, man,” and then a fifty to sixty-year old, gray-haired white man sporting a well-trimmed, gray beard appears, holding a white doggy-box of food in one hand. He strolls tranquilly away from the store wearing baggy blue-jean shorts; a medium-sized tattoo on his white, right shin; a baggy, gray t-shirt; white crew socks; and dark-blue tennis shoes. He seems comfortable, behaving like he relishes the walking-moment to his 18-wheeler, located on the far side of a long line of huge, colorful cabs and trailer-ends that edge the large parking lot; but he disappears behind a massive truck that pulls in between us, filling the parking lot with its bulk.



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