Each truck cease is sort of a shrine looking for to push back the demons of fatigue. Refrigerated show cupboards are stocked with supercaffeinated power drinks whose model names attest to the buying and selling of long-term well being for a short-term jolt: Pink Bull. Java Monster. Bang.
“It’s a cope with the satan,” says Mr. Graves, who sticks with espresso.
On the warehouse, his directions direct him to Constructing 2, which he assumes means the second constructing he encounters. However after climbing out of the cab and limping up a staircase, a receptionist directs him again to the primary constructing.
He handles this with studious cheer.
“Good morning, ma’am,” he says to each lady on the opposite aspect of the plexiglass dividers at each warehouse, savoring probably the most rudimentary human connections. “Are you doing OK?”
He makes some extent of studying the title of the girl who pours him a espresso at a Burger King — Bailey — and talks about her, concerning the kindness in her look, for a number of hundred miles after.
“I attempt to give everybody a smile,” he explains, compensating for the others on the street. “Drivers are usually snarly as a result of they’re drained, they’re hungry, and their schedules suck, they usually are likely to take it out on different folks.”
He revels in difficult common stereotypes of the truck driver, talking with the exact elocution of a school professor. He discarded his CB radio years in the past, weary of listening to the crude and generally hateful chatter distributed over crackly airwaves. He begins his morning listening to the worldwide information report from BBC World Service in London, after which switches to gentle jazz or classical.
“I really like Brahms,” he says, as he winds by way of Kansas.
He celebrates his fixed movement as liberation from the cubicle life that confines many employees. However as he hews to the interstates, what he principally sees are the service corridors of American life, a generic blur of fuel stations, quick meals eating places and liquor shops.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/09/enterprise/truck-driver-shortage.html The Solitary Lifetime of an American Truck Driver