Who are your neighbors? Are you friends with them, barely say hi, or avoid them altogether? Tell us a story — real or invented — about the people on the other side of your wall (or street, or farm, or… you get the point).
My home has no fences, other than perhaps the yellow lines delineating parking spaces. Who are my neighbors? Boy that is a loaded question! If there ever was a representation of the melting pot, WE ARE IT! Do I talk to them, know them, barely say hi, or avoid them all together???? Well, to be honest this is a topic complete; in and of it’s own right. Truly it depends on the driver, and believe me there is a whole list of my personal attitudes and standards that come into play here. I seldom spend time in the “driver’s lounge”, simply because of the ignorance generally being bantered around. My favorite t-shirt has a simple statement C.S.I. “Can’t Stand Idiots”. However, there are those, mostly the old school types, who I converse with regularly. I have many friends out here, from many backgrounds. I stay in contact with them regularly, but seldom do we manage to be in the same truck stop at the same time. I am pretty much an introvert, so meeting new folk is not among my strong points. However, once I get to know you, and like you, I’m a friend for life.
At any truck stop across the country, you’ll find people of all nationalities and varied beliefs. You’ll discover the quiet, boisterous, intellectual, ignorant, apathetic, and passionate. You may see a person of middle eastern decent, wearing traditional turban, sandals, and garbed in robes. Perhaps an old school driver in jeans, denim shirt, ball cap, and cowboy boots. Along with one in a sports coat and pleated slacks. Also present are the young and flashy, with their bling, and wearing bedazzled tee’s N jeans. Certainly, and in my opinion; unfortunately, you’ll see those
with no sense of professionalism in night clothes or pajamas.
The good neighbors are the ones who park within their “fences”, and not encroach upon another’s space. One would think this a basic, simple thing, yet I have found on numerous occasions the disrespectful and un-neighborly practice of “space hoarding”. In other words drivers who haven’t enough consideration for their fellow brethern to leave room for another to park. I find this practice very distressing, especially late at night when parking spaces are at a premium. I believe how a driver parks, is a sign of his or her professionalism. I’m a stickler for being straight and centered in my space, and I try to be “dress right dress” with those beside me. This is probably due to my time in the military, and being raised by parents who owned and operated a wrecker service. I used to drive my students mad with my, as I was told many times, Anal Retentive Parking Issues. Jennifer prefers to think of it as my own personal OCD issues.
Life is interesting when home is where you park your truck; usually in a different geographical local every night. We sleep, eat, read, just about everything except use the bathroom in our trucks. The truck stop provides us with the facilities to “shit, shower, and shave”. I have learned which ones have good restaurants, and are in the more peaceful locations. There is nothing worse than having someone knock on the truck door at 2:00 AM, trying to sell something you know was probably just stolen, or worse. By being choosy about where I park, I can virtually ensure a good nights sleep.
Good fences breed good neighbors, as long as those fences are respected.