North On 95


By the time I reached Winemmucca I had to take a leak so bad that my toes were starting to curl up in my shoes. The first exit from the Interstate channels weary travellers right into a large truck stop complete with it’s own casino. Medium sized convenience store included. Wasting no time I parked the car then jammed inside to use the restroom. What a relief that was. Everything seemed ten times better. My stomach was still fouled up from the previous night’s booze consumption so I avoided eating anything. Pulling in to a vacant gas pump I filled up the tank and got back on the road, pronto. Spending as little time as possible in this remote desert town was necessary if I was going to make decent time on the rest of the trip. Winemmucca is a strange town, stretching along parallel to I-80 longer than it is wide. Just past a little 1950s style greasy spoon diner that’s covered in red paint I made a left at a stop light to pick up Highway 95. The last leg of my journey.

Highway 95 heads North out of Winemmucca towards the Eastern corner of Oregon. Much like Nevada the territory out there is a wasteland of sparse low lying scrub brush and little else. Near the Idaho border, those wide open plains give way to rocky canyons and valleys. Mile after mile of solitary road passed by as I hauled ass through easy sweeping curves with long, straight sections of pavement that appear to stretch into the distant horizon.

I thought about my Mother and came to the conclusion I should have spent more time with her. I should have talked to her more often. Now it was too late. She was the only person in my immediate family I had any kind of a connection with, the only one who understood me. Once, when I was very young I had a nightmare that Mom had been taken away by pirates then locked up in a prison cell. I woke up that night terrified that she was gone and rushed through the house, bursting into my parents’ bedroom just to make sure she was still there. When she asked me what was wrong I told her about the bad dream. I also told her no matter what when I grew up I would protect her. Well, here I am a grown man. I failed in that promise. Dad treated Mom like she was something useless he had been stuck with. He couldn’t wait to be rid of her. The last three years of her life had been a living hell thanks to Dad. I didn’t do enough to prevent that from happening.

I should have done more to stop him. I should have been there to step in and protect Mom like I said I would. Somewhere in the desert before I reached Rome Station, I suddenly realized there were tears rolling down my cheeks.

It was far too late.

~ by factorypeasant on December 18, 2006.

2 Responses to “North On 95”

  1. Looking back onoly helps if it helps you figure out where you are headed… trust me on this. Do what you need to do and forget about the rest. Regrets are usually based on not having chosen your battles better. I’ved been reading your blog for a while – doesn’t seem like it’s quite worth eved addressing the situation with you Dad. He won’t get it… and you are far ahead just by realizing you should do better by your spouse than he did. Sometimes, just that elsson is enough to change the rest of your life.

  2. spared- wise advice as always and thanks for continuing to read Bill and Dave. i think you will be quite surprised by the eventual outcome of this story.

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