I have always lived at this truck stop. I am the guardian of the truck stop, the truck stop goblin, the ghost of the twilit gas station.
The sun will neither rise nor set. Maybe they didn’t forget me at all, maybe I’ve finally lost my mind. Maybe I’m in the back seat of the car driving through Illinois and I just think I’m sitting behind the counter of a tiny truck stop watching crows fight over a McDonald’s french-fry box in the parking lot.
The sky is still that indigo blue color where I can see it between the trees. Nothing has changed at all since I was first dropped off here.
Linda finally believes me that I was forgotten I think. She’s completely blase about me still being here.
“Oh they’ll be back I’m sure,” she said. “Just wait it out, they’ll be here.”
But then later, when I was still bitching about them, she suggested I ask someone to drive me back to the highway. “I can have someone drive you all the way to the airport if you want,” she said, looking all concerned. And then she said, “isn’t there someone missing you? Maybe you ought to go home.”
She thinks I’m a runaway. Hahahahahahahahahaha she’s not wrong!!!!!!!!
Oh shit what am I doing here?????
I’m having a full on existential crisis over this.
Honestly, I think that if Linda had a car I’d probably be writing this on the way to the airport. The only thing that’s keeping me on this whole adventure is my totally reasonable aversion to how awkward it would be to drive to the airport with some strange trucker dude.
But Linda doesn’t have a car. Linda doesn’t ever actually seem to leave this rest stop.
A delivery guy came to refill the vending machine… yesterday? I mean I’ve slept since he came but time is bonked so who knows. He brought coffee and milk and the baked goods Linda keeps on display on the counter. Sometimes a trucker comes in for a coffee and a donut. More often we snack on them. There are also innumerable tv dinners in the freezer in the back room.
Linda keeps things running here. She cleans the bathrooms and makes the coffee and picks up the trash in the parking lot. I’ve been helping her out in return for all the coffee and pastries and tv dinners I’ve been eating, but honestly for someone with an oxygen tank she’s pretty spry. Sometimes she closes the store for what seems like hours and goes out into the woods for “a walk.” She carries the oxygen tank on her back and practically skips.
Apart from that she has an insane DVD collection. I think the truckers bring them to her. Today we watched The Philadeliphia Story. We ate microwaved popcorn. Truckers came in and out occasionally. Most of the ones that come in greet Linda by name. They ask her about the woods and about the DVDs while they make up their coffee. She’s always delighted to talk to them. She asks if they’re taking their vitamins and offers to darn their flannels. They all seem to love it.
Also, no one thinks I’m a hooker now that Linda is keeping an eye on me, so that’s nice. No one fucks with Linda. Maybe because I found a shotgun on pegs under the coffee window.
“What’s this for?” I asked.
Linda looked up. “Oh just emergencies,” she said, totally mild. “There are cruel people in this world.”
You’re tellin me, Linda.
I’ve slept twice on a cot in the back room. So far I haven’t seen Linda use it. I asked if she needed a rest at some point hours ago, but she just said, “oh no, dear we’re almost to the best part of the film!”
I haven’t dared ask why it’s been twilight for what must be days. Right? I mean it MUST be days by now. But Linda doesn’t seem to think anything out of the ordinary is going on, and neither do any of the truckers that come through so I guess this is just normal hahahahahahahaha everything is fine
All I can think about is that if I were at home being studied by doctors at least people would know where I am. At least I’d have my mom and Georgia and Tilly instead of being forgotten in the fucking woods.
DAYS I’ve been here for DAYS
And like even when I’m not forgotten at fucking truck stops what is the POINT of any of this?????? It’s not like they’re teaching me to hunt monsters!!!!! It’s not like I’m learning some sick ass new powers or saving people or anything!!!!! They literally leave me in the fucking car like a badly behaved dog!!!!!! I’ve been bored for MONTHS!!!!!!!
I just keep going back to lying in that hospital bed with my one black eye, totally shell-shocked, recently dead, still all fucked up from whatever I saw in that cave and grieving Madelyn all over again — and they presented me with a way out and I just took it on instinct without even thinking about it
Oh fuck me do I want to go home