People are the same.
“… the safest course is to do nothing against one’s own conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.” – Voltaire
Meet Big Jack, no… James.
Big Jack was too good to include yesterday. He needs his own post.
I didn’t know him as Big Jack, when we first met. He introduced himself as James. James picks me up on an on-ramp of I-95, a little south of Fayetteville. ”I never pick up hitchhikers, but that hat…” He chuckles and shakes his head. I was wearing my red, snowflake hat that I got at a gas station near Farmville, Virginia for $1.50 plus tax. James is headed to Florida, but can take me to Florence, South Carolina, where our road splits.
James is a tall, muscular black man. His head is recently shaved and he wears all black Under Armor gear. A photograph of his wife and his son is Scotched taped to the dashboard in front of my seat. I ask James if he is a family man and he replies, “Isn’t everyone?”
James used to work for the US government. He doesn’t want to go into the details, but he traveled the world. To 15 different countries to be exact. He made the enemies of our government wish they had been nicer to the USA. ”It’s not right, though.” James seems regretful for what he has done and angry at the US government. We talk some foreign policy. He has an analogy to sum up his views. ”It’s like if you were to come to my home and barge in and tell me what to put on my television… That’s not right.”
James puts on black leather gloves. Gulp! I hope they are not to kill me, cleanly. No, that was a crazy thought. I just can’t get a bead on this guy.
People are the Same.
James learned that people are the same everywhere. They may look different and seem to act different, but they are not. All people are motivated by the same things. His example is, “If you meet a woman in another country, where she is not supposed to talk to you, because you are American. She will find a way to talk to you, if that is what she wants. It is the same everywhere, man.”
Trucking is good.
James owns his own trucking company now. He makes his own schedule. He makes enough money to support his wife, three daughters, and son. James is home with his family at least three days a week.
Big Jack is introduced.
We talk music. James likes music. Jazz to be exact. I look through his CD collection and play his Bromberg CD. ”Big Jack” is written in a black Sharpie marker on all the CD’s. Big Jack likes jazz because he can just groove on it. Get in the Zone!
Stopping for Gas.
The more we talk, the more we bond. Big Jack is laughing more. He shows me photographs of his kids and his wife. He tells me stories of his youngest son and carving pumpkins. His girls are older and are trying to pull the wool over his eyes. They are not successful.
We stop for gas and he gives me 5$ for dinner. He insists.
Big Jack says there is a truck stop near Florence that I should easily get a ride at. By now it is dark and he drops me on the side of the highway because he missed the exit. We wish each other well.
Tommorrow, I wait for a long time, but I also meet Jon, Michelle, and Earl and eat pork rinds on my way to Alabama.
Create Our World.
“A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.” – Mark Twain