highway rest stop
every pump had a line of cars waiting
families in sweatpants emerging from dusty mini-vans
an affluent older couple in starched white cotton and designer jeans stood proudly by thier sleek, polished BMW
Across the lot at the diesel pumps a white-bearded, barrel-chested man in overalls climbed down from the cab of his big red Peterbuilt. He shook hands with another trucker and let out a hearty, deep-throated laugh that echoed across the concrete like thunder.
on the way into the restroom I walked by a group of teenagers, skinny arms covered in tattoos beneath dirty t-shirts. The girl was smoking a cigarette, nervously twirling her greasy hair. Her boyfriend had a wild, manic look in his dilated, bloodshot eyes. He was scratching his crotch, defying anyone to say something.
I held the door open for a young mother holding a precious bundle on her shoulder. The baby was wide awake, taking in all the sights and sounds around him. He smiled right at me as they past, reaching out with his little, rubbery fingers.
“And the kids down here look just like shadows, always quiet, holding hands...”