As much as life on the road changes, there are definitely things that are always the same. Like every single morning we wake up in the bunk, I ask, “Where are we going today?’ and every single day George tells me again, for the hundredth time, where we are going. And if we’re out of the Eastern time zone, he tells me what time it is. Because I can’t time when I’m out of my zone.
“Where are we going today?”
“El Paso. It’s 6:20.”
“Really? It’s bright outside for 6:20. It’s not that early is it?”
“Yes. It’s 6:20 central time.”
“Well then it’s not 6:20. What time is it on my time?”
“Babe, it’s one hour.”
“Time! Give me the time!”
“It’s 7:20 at home.”
We can all understand why I’m never in charge of scheduling delivery or pick-up times.
Of course as soon as I heard we were going to El Paso, Marty Robbins started singing in my head. I can’t imagine that anyone wouldn’t know who Marty Robbins is, but if you’ve lived this long and haven’t heard him sing a story/song, you should click on this link and do it now. Mostly because it’s awesome, but also because this story won’t make much sense from here on if you don’t.
Marty sings a lot about people who carry guns and women who are mean. I think he grew up in Chicago. This is most likely a filthy lie, and if it’s true, it was a total accident. Anyway, in the El Paso song, he shoots someone dead in Rosa’s cantina and has to steal a horse and run away to New Mexico.
“It would be cool if we got a load from El Paso to New Mexico — we could be like Marty Robbins and pretend we’re running for our lives.”
“I make it a point not to run for my life, not sure I want to pretend I’m doing it either.”
“C’mon, it would make the long trip more interesting.”
“Babe it’s like two miles from El Paso to New Mexico.”
“What? No way. He had to steal a good one that looked like it could run all the way to New Mexico.”
“I’m telling you it’s about ten thousand feet.”
“Don’t confuse me by switching up measurements on me, trucker. I’m already on central time and kind of wonky.”
“You’re kind of wonky all the time.”
“Don’t be mean to me. I’m still trying to process the fact that Marty Robbins didn’t travel hundreds of weary miles on a good one who could run. I’ve thought that my whole life.”
“I’m sorry to disappoint you. There are these things called ‘maps’ you could have looked at.”
“Now I question whether or not the guy even had a gun. The whole thing is a lie. I don’t even trust the maps anymore.”
This is where he pats me on the head and leaves me sulking in the bunk, questioning the very fabric of life in general.
Sometimes, Marty Robbins lies and life on the road is hard.