Skolnik Page 17
few of the women seemed interested in him but apparently had second thoughts in the little silence just before they handed him his tip so he had to settle for the skinny whore from the nearby town who they whisked through the security gate passing her off as a guest and even got into the dining room to fatten her up but the lines were too long and when he got back to the city he started looking around for a classier act and finally found Flo who told him about her johns when they lay in bed and they had a laugh about that and he sometimes stroked her cheek as he might have stroked a wife's and missed the intimacy when he went to bed alone and was sad then too.
     Dick's wife encouraged him to make it up with his family. She was a genteel woman who had tamed him in many ways and he never cursed in her presence and people noticed that he was a different man when he was around her. He thought it was unjust that she should have

been stricken in this way and might die but she never complained, she just sighed and smiled in her apologetic way. However, he had no desire to make it up with his family, he only regretted not having one of his own. There were just the two of them and the years going by. When he was on the road he forgot he had a wife and lived a trucker's life, bedding down in the sleeper behind the cab in a row of trucks at the side of the road and living on hash browns and greasy burgers. He'd always liked trucking, he'd like the power behind the wheel and the rough men on the road and the women at the pit stops but now it was a chore and people saw that he was slowing down and asked him what was wrong and he opened up soon enough and they commiserated with him and cursed whoever it was who made the rules by which they lived. On the short hauls Dick ran down to Richmond, which was a city he loved. There'd been a woman there before he met his wife, it had been the great love of his life, it