The hidden years,134, the big Dipper

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Thursday 20 August 20:36

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The big Dipper

‘Can you hand me my sunglasses,’ said Bill, who peered into the snow with narrowed eyes as he kept the truck in about the middle of the path, of what had been a road. At times the ice on the road  was hidden from the eye by the snow. ‘In the glove compartment,’ he continued, ‘this blizzard, makes you blind or at least will gve you a headache.’ Snow and blizzards  do that to you and it was not to be denied, aside of the swirling flakes came the occasional strong gust of wind with drifting snow which now covered parts of the already not so great road. ‘We need to change more often,’ said Bill, the snow drives you mad ‘‘ Okay, ‘I said, 'where do we stop?’. ‘We can not stop,’ Bill replied grimly, ‘if you stop on ice, then you'll never get going again, that's the golden rule of ice trucking.‘ ‘How do we change then,’ I asked, in surprise? ‘You'll see when the time comes to change, it is important that we continue to talk to each other, it does not matter about what,  so you know I'm still there. That snow makes you drowsy. ‘

Bill hummed to himself, and reduced even more speed, 'it's an arctic wind, ‘he said,’ from the pole, we are getting it right at us, which means that temperatures will drop to Arctic temperatures and drifting snow will become even more on the increase. Nothing wrong if we keep in touch with the road, you miss the road and you are done for. 'Oh,' I said, 'what happens then'? ‘You can guess,’ said Bill, ‘ all kinds of misery, if you go into a snowy ditch, you’ll break an axle and then all hell breaks loose 'You should not speak about such things, because then you call forth bad fortune' . My boss was superstitious, so you learn something about each other all the while, I thought, on the other hand I also understood that it could end badly with us if something like that would happen. ‘We are heavily loaded,’ continued Bill, while he changed gears and further decreased the speed, that at least works to our advantage, we’ll keep good contact with the road. ‘

.'Still okay Bill 'I asked? He was increasingly bent over the steering wheel, staring now at the snow. ‘Yeah ha,’ he said a little absently. ‘I think it is time to change,’ I said firmly. 'Okay, that is why it is good when you're together, when you drive you always think you’ll  be okay a bit longer and before you know it, you have an absence and you lie off the road. ‘ ‘How do we change, unless we stop?’ I asked. ‘Stand on the seat, 'ordered my boss and he switched to an even lower gear, the combination now slowed to an even more contained momentum. He pushed away from the wheel and steered almost sitting sideways, with his foot, he kept contact with the gas pedal in, but for the rest, the combination had no real driver, ‘come to me and step over my back , 'recommended Bill, now with his nose glued to the windshield. ‘Sit down and grab the wheel.’ Now Bill pushed himself away, more, to the middle of the bench and then he asked, are you ready’and when I nodded he pulled his foot off the gas and the truck jerked at the transition from the leaving to the searching foot and we were driving through the snow again, but  the lorry was now in my hands. I changed gears and Bill gave me his sunglasses which I accepted gratefully. ‘As Bill said, ‘a child can do the laundry.’ Now I will keep you awake talking about whatever comes up,’ he said ‘He had one last look at the mile counter and said,’ we are within a mile or 40 from the camp, always count boy then you have control. ‘

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‘Like we talked about the Arctic wind,’ Bill said, and I nodded, ‘I hear nothing,’ said Bill. ‘Yes,’ I replied, my eyes trying to peer through the flakes. 'They call me Arctic Bill' you know that, don’t you? ‘The Northern area is called the Arctic, which is known to you?’ ‘Yes,’ I said, 'that's familiar to me, ‘My truck is an Arctic, you know where the name Arctic came from?’ ‘No, I said,’ while I saw the drifting snow lashing the truck now and the flakes were becoming thicker and thicker, I downshifted and slowed down, ‘I never thought about it.’ ‘Me neither,’ said Bill, ‘the seller of Arctic explained to me, when I bought this outfit. ‘Are you with me boy? ‘Yes,’ I said, 'a salesman knew where the name came from'. ‘It comes from the Greek language,’ Bill said.’ So,’ I replied, to show interest. ‘Yes,’ said Bill, ‘from the Greek word which originally meant or the words meant: ἀρκτικός (arktikos) which means close to the bear.’ ‘right, I replied, 'the bear'. ‘... And that Bill continued,’ comes from Arktos, which means bear. '' It refers to the constellations, ‘the great and the little bear,’ ‘Yes,’ I said, to show that I was still listening. The little bear Polaris, is also known as polar star, we know it as North Star. ‘This area was called Arktos because you had two constellations here that you could always see. You follow me, boy? ‘

‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I still do not get it, how the  ancient Greeks knew you could see the constellations here forever? We crawled now across the road which had become virtually impassable. ‘No idea, said Bill, if you stop to think about that, it is very strange.’ ‘Let's just change again,’ he said half an hour later, ‘we must be reasonably close’ it was quite a hassle but Bill was back behind the wheel and switched gears and put the socks on. He began to sing a tear jerker, something about a man who was on his way to Marianne .. and came closer all the while but was found frozen at 100m yards from the house .. it started with a snowstorm that was put on .. there's a blizzard coming on ... talking about  calling up misfortune .. I thought it was a real tearjerker, and Bill was in for it, with long strokes the distance was sung by the husband still nearing the cottage of Marianne. Bill looked at the miles counter, ‘one more mile,’ he said, and then the combination began to slide totally out of control and I knew that Bill was not going to make it, it was not good at all, we were  going down the drain and the wind blew and  in strong bursts now and everything was white and we slipped and slid and Bill shouted as he hung on for dear life over the steering wheel..

San Daniel 2015

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