Back on Earth

night-road-1201

~Part Nine~

You are close enough, you decide. You wait.

The men share a glance between themselves. The larger man returns to the truck and sits inside, behind the wheel. He waits.

The first man walks to the back of the vehicle, which must apparently be empty and open. The man confirms this by dropping the rear gate and waving you to come.

Like a dog, you think. You don’t know what the phrase means, because you’re not sure what a dog is. The words simply come to you, as you continue forward toward the man.

He pats his hand twice on the bed of the truck and stands back and says, “We’ll get you to town, and stop wherever you want. You got an address around here?”

You pause before climbing up onto the truck. You say, “I can’t say.” It is the best that you can think to say. You climb onto the flat-bed and sit, facing back to the open gate and the bearded man, who is studying you with hands on hips and thumbs hooked into pockets.

“You don’t got any more of your clothes with you?” he asks.

“I don’t think so,” you say.

He breathes in deep through his nose. He sighs, and says, “I got a jacket in the truck. You might get chilly back here.” The man walks around to the open door and retrieves a plaid jacket of hard, blue and black wool. He throws it to you and you catch it, and he slams the gate closed and slaps it twice with the palm of his hand.

He says, “We’re gonna take you to the hospital, if that’s all right with you. You don’t seem like you’re hurt, but if you can’t remember your address and you got no clothes with you, then you gotta reckon you’ll want somebody to take a look at you. Take care of you.” He waits a moment, then nods his head once and says, “Okay?”

“Okay,” you say. You have a feeling you should say more.

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