I really shouldn't have opened this bottle of wine, because it's making me cry. I haven't cried for a long time, mostly I am happy, mostly I get on with life and make the best of it. But just for the moment, I want to cry.
Today I had a phone call, a very dear friend rang to ask how I was. After a few minutes he said, 'get the kettle on, I am round the corner'. I hadn't seen him for over two years, I was thrilled.
I first met him twentyfive years ago, I was delivering new trucks, and hitching lifts up and down the motorways with my trade plates. He picked me up at junction 15 of the M1 in his Foden artic, and dropped me off at Newbury on the M4 where I carried on to Swindon. We hit it off immediately when I climbed into his cab, non stop chattering all the way. He was easy to talk to and we had a great laugh, when you have good company you don't notice the miles passing by.
After that, I looked out for his distinct dark blue truck which was his pride and joy. You could tell it was him by the shiny paintwork, he was always polishing it. Often we would wave to each other going in opposite directions. Sometimes, we would bump into each other on an overnight stop, on service stations or lorry parks. He very soon became my best mate.
There was long periods of time when we never saw each other, a couple of years or more would pass by and no sign. I didn't know if he worked for the same company or had perhaps moved on. I remember about seven years passed and I thought I would never see him again. Then there he was, flashing his lights on the other side of the motorway.
There were amazing coincidences, I would be in a little world of my own, automatic pilot almost, cruising down the motorway, when he appeared in my thoughts and I wondered where he was and what he was doing. All of a sudden, a few minutes later there he was on the other side, waving at me. Uncanny. It happened many times.
Today he came on his black motorbike, dressed in black leathers. A little older, a bit less hair, but still the same lovely smile, the same warm personality. A cup of coffee, a friendly chat, so why am I shedding a tear or two? Because he is not free. Don't worry, I'll be alright tomorrow, you have to be, don't you?
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