The Cloud that Fell

Sometimes clouds fall from the sky

There are truckstops of such sublime, searing beauty.

I took this picture from a patch of dirt off to the side. This is the overflow lot where a few diesel trucks had parked to get their statutory rest, away from the noise of the semis downshifting from freeway speed and kids spewing from family vacation vehicles, desperate for some consumerist freedom. The truckstop proper is off to my left in this image, a petite oasis in the western expanse.

To be honest, it wasn’t much of a truckstop. There are truckstops in the desert that shimmer like chrome erections but this place had been rolled over by so many tumbleweeds that it didn’t even know its name.

We truckstop denizens haven’t much to say to each other really. We pass a greeting, make a quip but mostly we are silent. We commune with each other through simple proximity and the shared purpose of getting to the next stop.

We are alone but we go together.

I am taking a break and I pull out my camera to hold this moment. I need to do something other than look at the white lines before I go back out there.

Memories of ex-lovers come to me, blowing across the Western sky like these clouds, illuminated from behind, splendid, calm and weightless. Any heaviness they had in their day is gone now as they float just out of reach. (What, for God’s sake, is the meaning of all this coupling?)

I snap a picture.

Out here in this aloneness, I find community. As we fuel our vehicles and check our fluids and pressures, we eye each other, comrades mostly. We are the people going from place to place, heading down roads that never surrender – no matter how many times we drive them.

On this vast circular road of no destination, our paths briefly crossed.

Sometimes clouds fall from the sky.

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