THE BIG RED TRUCK
A Novel by Kyler James
There is only a perspective seeing, only a perspective “knowing”;
and the more affects we allow to speak about one thing,
the more eyes, different eyes, we can use to observe one thing,
the more complete will our “concept” of this thing, our “objectivity,” be.
— Friedrich Nietzsche
On the Genealogy of Morals
CHAPTER ONE: MICKY
If you could discover the great secret of life and death, would you do it—even if it meant losing your mind? I’ve had very few fears in my life, but one of them has been that I’d lose it someday. Do most people worry about this kind of thing? I don’t know; I don’t know what most people worry about. Love, I guess, or when they’re going to get married.
Or maybe they worry about finding a good job, because most people need to make money. And it’s best if you do your duty and go to work. And when the weekend comes, you can go out and party and get drunk and laid and have a swell time.
But I don’t work. And I don’t play. I sit alone by myself and meditate. I contact, well… God. If you call it that. I contact something above or inside of myself.
Believe it or not, it’s given me a strange ability: I’m able to read other people’s minds. Not all the time, just sometimes, when I’m concentrating. I can know exactly what you’re thinking and what the name of your cat is. Do you believe me? I could say I don’t care if you believe me or not. But that wouldn’t be true. I care more than you know. If you don’t believe me, though, you could always go back to work—or play—or whatever you do to amuse yourself.
I’m amusing myself by typing on this computer.
It all began—or shall I say it all ended?—when I started reading this girl’s mind, Viagra. (That was really her name, I’m not kidding.) I said, “Viagra, why are you thinking about having pork tonight when you know you’d rather have fish?”
And she said to me, “Micky!” (That’s my name, Micky.) “What did you just say?”
“You heard me correctly, Viagra. And I’d rather have fish myself. I’m actually in the mood for white wine, which doesn’t go as well with pork.”
So that was that. We went to the fish market. We went to the liquor store. You see, Viagra and I had a cosmic understanding.
I don’t have cosmic understandings with many people.
I am quite a loner type myself.
But with Viagra—not only did we get along incredibly in bed—our minds had a rare disease in common. You could call it madness. Let’s just call it insanity. We were potentially insane.
That is, if you call the rest of the world sane.
Now I don’t mean to give you the impression that I’m a flaming heterosexual or anything, because I’m not; I like guys too. But most people have to pigeonhole themselves into one sane category or another. It helps them to think they are sane. And I don’t like to be sane, because I am insane and I can read other people’s minds to prove it.
It was late on a Tuesday night and I was sleeping over Viagra’s. I was having an intense dream and everyone I knew was in it. Then what happened was this big red truck came directly at us and plowed us all down. We all got crushed and died. Now it’s not true when they tell you that if you die in your dream it means you’re dead. Not true at all; I’ve died many times in my dreams—and I’m still alive. If you call this existence alive. I actually think I am quite dead to this world.
I know you won’t believe me when I tell you what happened next with Viagra—but please remember that I told you we had a cosmic connection. By the way, I purposely haven’t described her physically to you, the way so many stories do. Because first of all, this isn’t a story, this is real life; and second of all, I find that totally boring. I mean, why can’t you picture Viagra the way you want to picture her? What if I said she had hair as red as tomatoes on a summer night—then you’d never be able to get that image out of your head; whereas if I said her hair was as golden as the tip of a rocket, you would continue to think about her that way, wouldn’t you?
The point I’m making is that I want you to picture Viagra with your own imagination. I don’t want to spoil her with a falsely poetic description. I don’t want to fake it with a pretty simile or metaphor. I’d rather have you do it yourself. I give you that much credit. I give you the power to have an imagination.
I was lying there with Viagra, finishing my dream—and I heard her start to scream; so I woke up from my dream and said, “V, honey, what’s the matter?”
And this is the part you won’t believe: she proceeded to tell me the same dream about the red truck that I had just had.
Now Freud would take the meaning of a truck and the color red and turn it into some sexual innuendo; but I say when two people have the same dream at the same time, it is definitely worth noting.
We discussed it for about a half hour and returned to sleep in each other’s arms. Ah, bliss. Those were the days.
The next morning, Viagra made bacon for breakfast, and since we weren’t having white wine, I didn’t care.
She patted me on the head and went off to her job. I never knew what she did. I wasn’t interested. It was all the same to me. You wouldn’t be interested either. You see, it doesn’t make any difference:
Viagra went off to her job and there I was alone, ready for a thrilling day of my own creation. I went out on the street and saw all the people going to work.
I bet you might like to know where we lived. Why should I tell you that? I told you, we have no particular hair color—or eye color—and I’ll be damned if I tell you what city, town, or country we happen to reside in. So put us wherever you like. It’s not going to change what happens in this story, this story about the secret meaning of life and death. Possibly my own death, possibly Sylvia’s. I’m not going to tell you yet. Oh, sorry, I meant to say Viagra. Freudian slip. Sylvia was someone else, someone I don’t remember, someone from a very long time ago.
Sylvia was my mother. And Seymour was my father. We grew up in a little town, but I’m not going to tell you where that was either. Invent it. Make it up. Use a little creativity.
It just so happens that Viagra looked very much like Sylvia, just as I looked very much like Seymour, which was only natural since I was his son.
But they both died. Guess how. Guess.
OK: get ready. They both got run over by a big red truck—as red as a big red tomato! How’s that for a shock and surprise?
So that dream that I dreamed—I dreamed it a lot…and so did Viagra. You see, Viagra was really my sister. Well, half-sister. Her father was Garrick and he died in England. He drowned himself. He was a very intelligent man—or so I’m told. Viagra dreamed about him too sometimes. I never did.
So now you know. This is a story about the great mystery of life and death. Because any story about life is really a story about death. Isn’t that where we’re all headed? There are no real characters. There are no real situations. Life is full of illusion, like the color of people’s hair. All you have to do is pretend what you like, pretend what you want, see it there before you and have it—in your mind. Have it there, have it now. Close your eyes—see it…now open your eyes: there it is!
See? I’ve taught you something, if you’re not lazy. Refuse to be lazy. Refuse to be weak at all cost. See with your own eyes—not the eyes of everyone else at work. Please. For your own sake.
I thought I would skip to the end of this story, so when you get there you can look back with recognition and say, “Aha!” For by then, you will see it from a totally different perspective:
When Viagra returned from work that day, I said, “Let’s go for a walk.”
She asked, “Why?”
I said, “It’s time.”
So we walked down to the big boulevard—you know the one I mean—you can picture it with your own eyes, can’t you? You can see it like one of those postcards of the Champs Elysées, can’t you? With the headlights all one stream of white light and the taillights all one stream of red? Not like tomatoes, but like real rocket ships, rocket ships to nowhere.
And on the big boulevard, we waited and waited. Waited and waited. The waiting was interminable; it took forever. Yet it finally appeared. We saw it approaching in the distance: our big red truck. Our juicy, mouth-watering, ripe, red truck.
And I led her by the hand. I led her across the boulevard, where the red light turned into pure white light…and I touched her face and said, “Viagra, if there’s anything or anyone I love in this world, it’s you, my darling.”
And we stood in the white light and awaited our oncoming big red truck….
Now you may wonder how I could be telling you this story—or where I could be telling it from. Or why I am telling it to you at all. I don’t know the answers to these questions. I don’t know what happened after that. I don’t know where I am now and I don’t know anything else—except that I know a lot more than you think.
It’s just that I had nothing better to do today—that’s really the truth. And if truth be told, as it so rarely is, I simply wanted to amuse myself—and you—with the true story of how I escaped from this world. This world of metaphors, similes, boulevards and rocket ships. Tomatoes and women with many different shades of hair.
And red toy trucks, big and powerful—as powerful as the imagination!—that lead us into a world where we can be free.
© 2008 by Kyler James