Jim Meirose

Of the Act of Simple Urination

               Two occurrences of near-extreme fatigue, roughly centering in, on, and around, Lent truck stop, as; first, “Horse” powering on in his Kenworth twenty miles out, heading in to Lent, where the pertinent to his situation Otto sat in the dining room, over-fatigued from just having converted Drive nine-hundred and forty-seven miles miles, fourteen hours forty-seven minutes, Iowa 80 T A, to Global Amazon Center LLC, to Push back negative nine-hundred and forty-seven miles, not negative fourteen hours forty-seven minutes, from 41° 35' 5.1" S, 89° 13' 40.5" E, from local Amazon Outside LLC. Otto momentarily rested his eyes, and leaned back, gazing at the dark behinds of his lids.
               Otto; he muttered, down still for days, on days after, as already stated down underneath, where breath can’t be heard no more, saying backward to “Horse”, as he stood there later, that, Oh, you missed nothing, “Horse”. As the later prepared two ways for that happening, the first being, “Horse” closing the gap to under seventeen miles, and the second as, Otto approaching climbing back through the instants to come one by one, Otto, in particular, began preparing the way for, when the latter flipped over, revealing its now—like all laters are just chrysalis versions of their developing nows—and the things Otto planned for doing, in that freshly born now, would only get done properly after correct preparation—which, by the way, is the case for some large percentage of things that get done when their destined nows arrive, but is not for the remaining percentage of the total number of things that get done. As “Horse” cleared mile sixteen, now coming on fast, Otto was, just as was “Horse”, not any wise stupid; so, he quickly breezed over this true but useless fact, and filed it down in a saving-pouch off his mindside, for future use if needed, when times and circumstances changed. For example—sometime in the future, when, God willing, he will have been past successful completion of his current thing to do, and this presently useless fact became suddenly useful, when, and only when, a proper and correct next thing to do slid into his viewfinder, requiring the application of that exact currently useless, but by then totally useful bit-fact, and even though the odds were no better than fifty-fifty that this would ever happen, he felt good that the saving-pouch off his mindside, had grown fat over the years with possibly useful, in the future, currently useless facts. But, hey, ho—on the far road, “Horse” surged closer. With each mile, he felt more fatigued. This truth, alongside Otto’s, blended into a spiraling flow wrapped down ‘round the seemingly uninvolved usual waitress at the counter, set bending down under the flat black cheap-assed flat screen TV she so resented, as usual fruitlessly studying her schoolwork—which like all mandatory desert-dry schoolwork, which while being read seems light as real life, but once turned from, creates a husk-dry crackling crack of a bitter memory, saying softly through and on into the student’s ear, their thought to think, that being, Thank God, a break, thank God, caught as a means of momentary escape from her stupidity, at fruitlessly striving to better herself, by believing she perceived Otto nodding away, at his further table—thus thinking him lower than her—of which the reverse was actually true, as he so often reminded her; so, rushing over, she jarred his shoulder, saying, Hey, ho. Hey Otto, the boss will be here in a bit—and, customers are not permitted to sleep at their tables. Come awake. And, so—he was careful, he was glad of. His head raised, and, see. See! He was clairvoyant, a touch. It seemed the low waitress had come to wake him. About this time “Horse” ‘mained closing in on Lent for what might be the ten thousandth time, where now, there she went, mindlessly returning to resume the continuous burden of reading the lead-heavy words paging past the ‘neath of her face. Otto sneered toward her, picking up in the point of her studybook where she’d left off, as if she, or any like she, can ever be elevated from their shit low-deck jobs, regardless of effort. But he was smart enough to have been awake the whole time, and somehow had caused her to yet one more time prove her low and useless state, by coming over to someone—him, in this instance—and tell him to wake up, when the truth was he was wide awake, and even more so than wide awake, already, since wide awake, already, always implies having been previously asleep, which he’d been not, thus showing her to be even more stupid, so stupid, so, so, very, very, s-s-s-stupid, hey, yes—yes—but, being a proper man, as was “Horse” also being a proper man—clearing nine miles out I-80, and down-counting—a polite man, some segment of the time, at least—he did rise, acting out of respect for her, mixed with pity for her stupidity, and went straight away to the men’s room to urinate, as every true man wakening from slumber does most of the time, regardless of whether the slumber was true or such that some low one had falsely accused said man of. And sometimes it’s necessary and unrelated to any recent true or false slumber, so; his having gone there to urinate does not provide solid proof that he indeed was actually asleep at his table.
               Still, being of a higher order of consciousness than the low waitress, he felt pressured, out of true courtesy for her, even though she was too dim to ever see it, to make her feel less truly foolish that she had really and truly wakened an actually wide-awake man. Pushing back the toilet door, knowing that what he had to do was necessary, even though it may cost. Entering the small room, he scanned the pastel tiled wall on the right of the space, and stepping a step further inside, he scanned the pastel tiled wall on the left. At once he realized that God had guided him into this chamber. Otto stood now face to face with the boy-man hitchhacker, whom “Horse” had delivered as requested—the boy-man who’d spoken of butchery for all overcomplicators, so to speak, of the simple—of which he felt Otto was one. The boy stood there all vulnerable, no cleaver in his hand. “Horse” had been wise to disarm the hitchhacker—after taking him down by force, no doubt. Because of “Horse”’s lock-step efficiency, this one that spoke butchery, now will be tested. Tested and examined. Examined and understood. Understood and documented. Documented and then, not never no turned loose, not never not ever. No, no, n’, ‘o, but-t, where was “Horse”, who’d done this fine job exactly as asked, no more no less. As Otto approached the butcher-boy, past the boys’ shape hung white off the wall, said, Come use me. Come use me, because the hitchhacker does not yet know who you are. Go use the white fixture for what it hangs for, so—why you came here why if not for this hey, so—Otto unzipped, thanking God. “Horse” had deluded the hitchhacker to think all this was—nothing. “Horse” never yet had had to be told. “Horse” every time so far had done what he felt like. “Horse” had somehow set the hitchhacker up as a lamb to be slaughtered. Yes! God praise your son and the holy ghost, that Otto will finally discharge the task he’d come here to do. Clearing this foolish hitchhacking faux-boy out of the way, would ensure that the day would finally come that his outfit said, Go—and on that day he would walk to his truck. And even mor warmth came from knowing that “Horse” his shotgunner’d be following. He’d reach up, pull down the doorlatch, climb up, look down, shut the door, and let it go. Let it go, knowing without having to see that “Horse” sat likewise in the other side seat, holding. All holding. This yes, yonder this—God this wonderful day’s really here! The sheet-book of directions from Lent to Newark—or better yet, said—from Lent to 40° 44' 8.4" S, 105° 49' 39.5" E. Yes, yes, yes. So, “Horse”. Set to saddle up?
               Fu. Ho. F. R.
               Shit, okay, yah to the too, but. Sure, let’s see this directional sheet-book—hey sheet-book’s like sheet-cake like sheets of paper ‘r rain o’—hey sheets ‘ey bed this sheets eyy boy’s bed bed-sheets—but no, non none, give that fresh n’ fat sheet-book, here. Right here.
               Okay—Otto handed it over, then “Horse” flipped it open, and there’s the first step plain as day, ep—Lose off I-80. Eh, this one’s easy. Get on I-80. Go on, Otto.
               Okay—and Otto gripped the truck key, but; “Horse” reached over to stop him.
               No, wait.
               Wait? Why? It’s time to go. What’s wrong?
               There’s a basic rule of trucking says, Know your cargo. Rules are meant to be followed. Where’s the bill of lading?
               Uh. What? I don’t think I have one. But the company knows what I’m hauling.
               Sorry, but I never start a haul before reviewing and understanding the entire bill of lading. Where is it? I have more years as a trucker than you. I know this is a rule.
               Can’t, no. I never got one. My load’s top secret. The big guys said so. We’re just the small guys. Little drivers. Grunts, you know. Like we got called in the Navy. I didn’t have to know how a bomber worked, to push the buttons, to arm the bombs, like I told you I armed the bombs under the bombers on the carrier, okay so; let me start ‘er up, lets get goan’, it’s time.
               No, Otto. You can’t baffle me with bullshit. Come on. We will be dealt with—severely, if we are stopped in route, and checked for paperwork we don’t have.
               Otto’s fingers gripped the key, gasp, he, oh, it was, yes, going to be a problemo, gasp, gasp, to solve it will not be no problem, though, so back out the hole to the here and now, so he reversed himself three steps back from what looked like a urinal flowing with water, flushing the concerns of the last twelve seconds away, and—you cannot baffle me with bullshit, he would tell the butcher-boy hitchhacking agent, so, he backed up three more. “Horse”, he said—stay here, with this punk. Even though you are not here. Somehow as always you will come through with the impossible. Do what you need to to soften his ass up—I’ll be outside.
               “Horse”’s hand shot virtually up.
               No! Hey, wait, ho—I need to know the cargo, know my cargo, his cargo your cargo everybody’s cargo, everybody’s got to know their mumumum-fluckin’ cargo, or—suffer the imposition of maximum levies. Gasp, gasp, gasp. Eh. ‘h.
               Oh, come on, “Horse”, just do it. C’mon! Don’t you know the good book says someplace, find me a man who’s never in her life needed to be ordered to do anything—like a woman who’s never in his life been ordered to do nothing. Like, “Horse”, right then, right there, even though still miles out from walking past Otto when reaching him—“Horse”; the fine example for all of a man whose every move is completely self-initiated—in the same-assed way breathing is—and heartbeat is—no boss needs to say, beat your heart harder, “Horse”—beat it well, and live! No. No boss needs to say, breathe your air harder, Otto—breathe it well, and live! No! God is the great backwards hairy-backed tommy-tom hammering skin-beater, facing the left, right, and center rank rows of galley slaves, whom he keeps alive, but not—not the beater, but the one a notch above—no, not the one a notch above the beater, but the one two above, no, not the one two above, no, the-the one five one three above the no, the one two four beater, or the ones in the back room tanning down those skin drumheads. They slaughter, they butcher the innocents, then they skin, dry, and tan what they’ve taken. And all this—just to manufacture must-taaad! Eh, et—Otto turned ‘round, feeling suddenly vulnerable with the hitchhacking butcher-boy right behind him, but—thank God, praiser of praises, disarmed by—guess who, guess guess—guess! Guess! Yes, “Horse”! That guess! And, Otto knew without having to look. “Horse” stood behind the evil butcher-boy, to provide backup muscle just in case, just in case—but, Otto at last agreed, he was not ready. He let go the truck key and turned getting the sheet-book, but, apparently, “Horse” had already dismounted—having arrived at last outside the diner. As for Otto, he descended in all his magnificence, from his truck. Gaining the diner, he went to the restroom door. Gripping the door, he knew—funny how things come up crystal-clear during something common as simple urination—that outside, “Horse” had arrived at Lent and was five feet from the front door, and closing. As the big man re-entered the larger eating space, about which an old archbishop had said way back ‘hen, the pressure of being here’s much too great—and within which again, the waitress’s eyes followed, word o’er word, her thick school text, encouraging herself by fingering each in turn, he settled down, took a seat before her, and said just one word.
               “Horse”, eh, she said—great to see you.
               Otto came out the men’s room seeing them knowing, They’re talking like. I’m not here. But I am. I am. I.
               I bet you’re bushed, “Horse”.
               Hah. Hah. She will never know what’s in the men’s room. Reasons for that—hey she’s not even allowed in there, for one thing. Up. Up. Sheeesh.

Jim Meirose's short work has appeared in numerous venues, and his published novels include No and Maybe - Maybe and No (Pski's Porch). Le Overgivers au Club de la Résurrection (Mannequin Haus), Understanding Franklin Thompson (JEF pubs), and Sunday Dinner with Father Dwyer (Optional books). Info at www.jimmeirose.com @jwmeirose
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