By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 8/21/2018
Topics/Keywords: #18-Wheeler #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver #TruckDriving Page Views: 851
An entry from Alternate Roads: Paul S. Cilwa's Truck Drivin' Journal

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

But he did respond. It just took a little while.

I was pulling a trailer that had been carrying wine, and a bottle had broken during unloading. I also had a load assigned to me to be put in that trailer, going from Toys 'R' Us near Stockton, to Spokane. And the delivery was Wednesday, which meant I had little hope of being home for Thanksgiving.

However, the Universe can work to reflect our desires if they are clear enough. That broken bottle did the trick. Larry, my STL, notified me via Qualcomm that Toys 'R' Us did not, in fact, want a shipment to reek of Bordeaux or Ripple or whatever it was I had been transporting. I was taken off that load, and assigned another, going to…Phoenix. For delivery any time Thursday.

I would be home for Thanksgiving, after all.

As I traveled that breathtakingly beautiful road from Reno to Las Vegas, picking up a load of plastic wrap in Yerington and continuing through the low hills, desert, and riparian lake country of Nevada, I decided I was going to turn a new leaf. Instead of focusing so much on what was going wrong, I would focus on what went right. I would develop an "attitude of gratitude" and look at the world through rose-colored glasses and so on.

I would start by making a list of the reasons why I was glad to be gay.

We gay folk have to make a big deal of how awful it is so the fundamentalists won't be able to argue that we chose to be gay. After all, why would anyone wake up one morning and say, "Gee, things are going too well. I think I'll become a member of the world's most hated minority, give up any chance of marriage or children or anyone to care for me when I'm a doddering senior, and increase my chances of dying young of AIDS or as a victim of a hate crime. Yeah, that's the ticket!"

But, of course, that's just the downside. There's got to be an upside, right? So I decided I would make a "top-ten" list of the good points of being a gay guy.

Top Ten Good Things About Being a Gay Guy

10.

Our partners don't menstruate or go through menopause. The only hot flashes that occur in our house are from the disco ball overheating!

9.

Foreplay? What's that?

8.

The toilet seat is always up. As it should be.

7.

We like action movies and romantic movies. (We thought True Lies was one of the greatest films ever made!)

6.

We can get laid any time! Many gay guys are not monogamous; straight women want to "cure" us; lesbians want us to father their babies and there’s enough horny straight guys willing to "make an exception" that we could have sex non-stop, taking time out for perfectly-prepared meals, of course.

5.

Our partners don't think of Lorena Bobbitt as a role model.

4.

We never have to wonder if our partners faked orgasm.

3.

We don't feel threatened if our partners make more money than we do.

2.

We can cut each other's hair for free.

and the best part of being a gay guy is…

1.

We can eat any vegetable in the refrigerator without wondering if our spouse is having an affair with it.

Thursday, November 28, 2002 (Thanksgiving Day)

I pulled into the Phoenix drop yard, after having delivered my load to its destination, about 3 pm. I had called Michael on my cell phone so that he met me there, arriving only a minute or two after I did. My daughter, Karen, and grandson Zachary, came for the ride. We hastily tossed my dirty clothes into the back of the station wagon, along with my computer and ditty bag. Then, for the first time in a week and a half, I rode in a vehicle with fewer than six wheels.

Zachary, in his toddler seat, insisted I sit next to him. He told me about his school, and his newest toys, and how he and "Baby Papa" (his name for Michael) went swimming. It's amazing how his vocabulary has increased. He asked if we were on the "highway" and I said that we were. He has been trying to work out what constitutes a "highway".

Thanksgiving dinner was already in progress, having started with enough hor's d'oeuvres to feed Zambia. There were devilled eggs (one of Michael's specialties; they always get snapped up in no time), the usual assortment of olives, shelled pistachios, and crackers with exotic cheeses, plus the inevitable stuffed celery sticks. People had been nibbling on those since noon when they started arriving.

I only got a quick grab in before dinner was served. Michael drafted me to carve the turkey, which was perfectly cooked, of course; and filled with his rosemary/thyme/sage stuffing. To back it up were yams (not drenched in sugar), garlic mashed potatoes, green beans in a cheese sauce, creamed rutabagas, biscuits with real butter, Michael's sister's potato salad, and Michael's homemade cranberry relish.

To many people, family is something you're born with and take for granted. For too many gay people, family is something that threw you out when you decided to stop lying. I am extremely lucky. I have both biological and adopted family who love me and whom I love. My ex-wife, Mary; two of my daughters, Karen and Jenny; Jenny's little boy, Zachary; Michael's sister, Surya; Celeste, a dear friend from the East who's staying at our house while she looks for an apartment; and our friends Jock and Peter, whose wives were unable to be with us physically but were there in spirit—all these sat around me at the table.

"Someone should say grace," the suggestion came, and everyone looked at me for no reason I can think of.

"Let us thank the Universe, for making it possible for us all to be together tonight, " I said. "And Michael and Celeste and Surya who prepared dinner. And the various beings who became our dinner. And," I added with finality, "the trucking industry, for bringing all this bounty from the farms and fields into the stores, so we could buy it and enjoy it here tonight. Amen."

We dug in.