The driver, a big, burly guy who looked about 30-35, asked me, "Where
you headed, kid?". "California," I said, "or as far as you'll take me."
I climbed in and he told me throw my backpack back in the sleeper
compartment and get comfortable. As he pulled out onto the interstate, he
introduced himself as Jim. I told him my name was Gary. He started asking a
lot of questions about where I was from, where I was going, and how long I
was planning to stay, and so on. He seemed really interested, especially that I
planned to work my way to Australia.
"Sorry the AC's on the fritz. Just have to grin and bear it."
He said, then paused for a minute, and added, "Or bare it--if you want to take
your shirt off, you can." I did take off my sport shirt, but I left my T-shirt on.
By then his curly black hair was starting to look wet and
fall down over his forehead. The underarms of his light denim shirt were
"That's a good idea," he said. "I'm about to melt, too, but I can't take my
hands off the wheel. Would you mind unbuttoning my shirt and pulling it out
of my jeans for me? I've got to try to cool down a little."...
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