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I’ll never forget it – ever.
The 1st time ZO pulled up in his ole pickup truck.
He called it “liverance”.
At least, for the longest time, that’s what I thought it was called.
I’m not sure what make or model it was, but let’s just say it was a miracle that it made it anywhere. The predominant color was rust. You could see that it had been black at one time, but it looked like someone had painted over it somewhere in the past. The wheels, let’s just go with rusted chrome. They were those wheels that looked like one side of the moon in the middle. Only, 2 of his were missing. The tires had a lot of miles on them, we can call them bald. Zo called them experienced.
He simply asked me if I wanted a ride. Since, I wasn’t making good time on my own, I accepted. The door took a few yanks to get it open. A creak? A loud “the door might fall off” sound? I’m not sure what it sounded like, but it got your attention either way. It took equal tries to close, it as it did to open it. Three. Each being more aggressive than the one before it.
Once in, I surveyed the inside, trying to do so without being noticeably anxious about my ride in ole liverance. The dash had been sun bleached into a milky black, gray & white fusion of colors. The seats were as much torn open as they were together. Foam in the tears of the seats was torn too. We’ll skip talking about the hole in the floorboard. However, I’ll tell ya, I could see the road I had been walking on, now through the floorboard, only going by a little faster.
“Where ya heading?” he asked.
I didn’t answer, I wanted to know about this truck, or whatever he called it.
“Liverance” is what I call it, he said. “I’m sure you can tell, she has a lot of miles on her.” “yup”, I said.
I was simply trying to get a handle on this truck & why a man like Zo would be driving it. “How long have you had her?” I asked. “As long as I can remember. It’s the only truck I’ve ever owned or driven.” I’m not sure why, but I expected that to be so. Maybe because I couldn’t imagine anyone buying this truck in the shape it was in. So, I assumed he owned it too, when it had been in better shape than it was now.
Over the years, I took a lot of rides in “liverance”. I can honestly say this, we never went anywhere fast in ole liverance. Never. It’s one of those things you accept, if you are going to ride with Zo in liverance, you are going to go slower than you might like & Zo is going to take the route he wants to take. You just have to get past the feeling of being late. Zo says, “he’s never late…everyone that rides with me, is on my time.” Funny, if you accept Zo’s time, I guess you never are late. At least in his eyes.
I’m not sure what it was about those rides though. They seemed calming at the very least and life changing at best. It just seemed like a piece of something that would be missing in your life was given back when you’d ride with Zo. Or, something that might be beating you up in the game of life, would be taken away. It always just happened. Nothing big about it. Just a conversation. “What’s going on?” was normally how we would get to those parts of the ride. Then we would talk about the real things of life. Both, the good & the not so good. And, somewhere, without fail, the ride in “liverance” would make things better.
Apparently, that truck wasn’t the only thing showing some wear in life. Zo’s eyes must have been “rusty” too. Maybe, but that’s so hard to believe, given the way he’d look at you – eyes full of life, love, laughter.
I don’t know, because I never found a good time to bring it up. So I didn’t. I’m not talking about his eye sight. I’m talking about the old spray painted word on the tailgate of that ole truck.
Someone, somewhere along the way had spray painted a word across the tailgate. Only, time had erased most it. It now, was the same color of the truck – rusty with shades of black sprinkled in…with some white on it too.
If you read the most obvious part – indeed it said “liverance”. But if you got the sun just right behind you and squinted a little bit too, you saw that ole truck wasn’t called liverance at all. It was called “Deliverance”
Yup, I never asked him about it. I just knew, that anytime I rode with Zo in ole Deliverance, I was never the same afterwards. Something was either added to or something was hauled away.
I love riding in that ole truck.
If you have ever ridden with Zo, share a comment about it.
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