30 September, 2012


"My condolences Jimbo," said Sergent Wilcox as he shook James' hand vigorously.

"You know, I've been hearing that a lot," said the newly minted Detective First Class James Bradford Radcliff.

James set the moving box on his new desk. The box was branded on all sides by the moving company the city contracted. It was the type, used for small moves, with the elaborate folding diagram on the top for the morons who couldn't figure out how to fold a boxtop so it would close.

James allowed a brief flashback folding similar boxes while volunteering for his high school library. The boxes full of books that were to be thrown away.

Years later, in his 20s, restless and floundering, James drove a semi back and forth between Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico and Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. All day he'd drive, punctuated by loading cardboard boxes onto and off his rig.

Occasionally he'd be put on a route to California - a task some might relish, but for James just another few torturous hours on the road. He was alone with the scenery day in and day out, the other cars mere objects to avoid. He started to resent the beauty of the landscape.

He kept a bottle of No-Doze in his glove box. He had tried some glass he had picked up in Scottsdale for a couple weeks, but it put him too much on edge. He liked cocaine, but he couldn't afford it or find it, moving from town to town.

The characters at the truck stops soured James on narcotics.

He quit after watching townies beat a cross dressing hustler almost to death.

Trailer park meth and sleazy bathroom hookups were part and, excuse the pun, parcel of the trucking trade. James wanted no part of it.

Luckily for him around the same time he had decided to leave the business he also knocked up his girlfriend Karen.

Can't be a husband and a father zipping back and forth across the country delivering bullshit for Lowes and Walmart.


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