The hidden years in Canada 49, the fight

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Thursday 04 June 07:56

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The fight

We drove off and I seemed confident but I was not and I tried to think of Kiwi, what he would have done and I rehashed with an inner voice his opinions during the shifting of gears. I realized that everyone had begun like I just had. The road was long, much longer than I remembered, and finally we drove cautiously from the main road to the dirt roads network. The truck went heeling over dangerously. The colossus was loaded up high, and I knew I had been lucky, from now on I would enter the dirt roads with more  'feeling ' and more careful. It was with a sense of relief that I got Clare Home in sight. It had been hard and  disappointing, I had been driving but that was about it, I had barely felt in control. I had a heavy feeling that the hand of fate was waiting around each corner and that the truck had control over me. We were running behind schedule but I decided to stop for coffee and a sandwich anyway.

Uncertainties become dissipated when the sting of fear is removed. I caught myself glancing occasionally through the window at the truck and I was proud that I was the driver, enjoying a cup of coffee and I felt a lot more confident. The company trusted me enough to let me set off independently and I did not want to disappoint anyone. The trumpet blare broke through my musings and an update on the Apollo mission followed on TV. There was silence in the room and everyone watched in awe the screen where the next phase was explained. 300 million North - Americans, accompanied in spirit, their three companions on their heroic journey 'Come Rico, ‘I said, when I had finished my coffee, ‘we ought to get going' and I got up and moved my chair. ‘Boy you are in a hurry,’ he said, looking at me in surprise and he was right, but he didn’t feel the pressure of time, like I did; it was not his responsibility.

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It was a long tiring day, I felt spent at the end of it. The  constant alertness and adjusting and loading and unloading took its toll on the inexperienced driver that I was. As the load decreased I felt more sure of myself and I caught myself out at one time whistling a song. The first day was almost over and the timing might not have been tight but we had also started by 'driving out' late in the morning due to the test. We drove into the yard of the company and were finally back, but I did not care about being late, safely and without damage we had came home. I put the truck in the middle and shut the engine down, so that the forklift could reach it from all side and I grabbed the pile of freight bills and walked to the office.  I knew now that you could not go in there, because we were the scum, you pushed the coupons in one of the postboxes, in my case that day the postbox had Lethbridge written bove it. An office girl would empty the box in the morning and  process the delivery bills as we would be on the road again.

A heavy hand was laid on my shoulder, 'and .. .'asked a voice with an Australian accent? It was Kiwi, I looked at him blankly. ‘You passed it,’ he wanted to know? ‘Oh yeah,’ I replied, ‘fortunately.’ ‘Congratulations  driver, you're one of us,’ said Kiwi friendly. ‘Did the ride go well,’ he went on, while we walked to our little shed  to punch out. ‘No,’ I said honestly, ‘it has made me dog-tired.’ ‘In a week’s time you won’t know any better,' laughed Kiwi and the punch clock made the typical clicking sound that you don’t hear anymore these days..

San Daniel 2015

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