Life as a Passenger by Christine Swiderski
As a child, my father traveled most of my life. He was a truck driver. I look back on
my childhood and see myself as a passenger. My mom kept herself busy working wool skeins of yarn. Talent, was in her fingers. Her creations sold like hot cakes.
Truckers named their trucks, some after long lost love, others for male prowess. My dad named his Zephyr. He loved driving, he always had the window cracked open allowing the gentle breeze to carry him to the next destination.
There was room in the back to sleep when the destination was more than a 12-hour drive he would park his rig and sleep for a few hours.
I was impressed with his ability to maneuver a route even when he was tired. In the summer the outside of his Zephyr was like an oven, yet the air conditioner was blasting and he still cracked the window open.
My guess is the cab of the truck was confining. The road was boundless. That is where he found his freedom. The boundless road.
My mom passed when I was 10. Dad had a large load which would take him across the country. He packed me up, we set out. I remember vividly driving along the seashore. Slapping waves, cool breeze off the ocean. I told myself this would be my zephyr when I grow up. I will move to California.
Now 20 years later looking back on my life, I realized if more people look at their lives as though they were passengers they would find their zephyrs.