The Trucker



I was still seeing Mr. GQ, but it was casual, a friend with benefits. Why? He’d been separated from his wife for more than eight years but still married, and he rented a room in his home to his ex-girlfriend. Definitely not someone with have a full-fledged relationship. I had decided a few months ago that I did want a long-term, committed relationship.

I joined a different dating website, Bumble. Both men and women sign up and put up profiles, but the women are the ones who swipe left or right. If a woman has indicated interest, then the man can message her through the app. I swiped right quite a bit and received a few emails. One intrigued me and we made a date to meet.

We met at a Starbucks. The day after Valentine’s Day. He looked mostly like his photo, but better. He limped. He told me he had one knee replaced last fall and was having the other one done April 1. We talked for more than an hour. He seemed to be self-supporting and not obviously crazy, so I made a second date with him.

Our second date was for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I met him there as I’m careful about letting a new fellow know my last name or where I lived. He had been an EMT for ten years but switched to driving along-haul truck because his brother was making much more money doing that. He only stopped driving when the truck had a chemical spill a year ago and he went to the hospital. He hadn’t been to a doctor in many years. Of course, they found things that needed fixing:  his knees, cataracts in both eyes, and he needed a pacemaker and a filter for his heart.

Now he drives for Lyft temporarily, to pay off a credit card. He worked everyday, at least nine hours a day. He showed a good work ethic, but he probably hadn’t planned for retirement.

Like the zookeeper, he was a lonely guy. I immediately put up parameters. I still wasn’t interested in getting married or living with someone. Since he was a considerate fellow, he took my boundaries seriously. He’s always concerned if he’s crowding me or asking to see me too much.

He was a Republican, but a moderate one. We had had many discussions on current events that showed our differences, but always with respect for each other’s opinion. I got him reading The New York Times, so he may change his point of view.

I liked his company. He was easy to be around. He didn’t need to be entertained. He didn’t take himself too seriously. He had lots of funny anecdotes about his past. And he liked to listen to live music and dances as best he could with a bum leg.

He was a considerate lover. He had the same performance problems as most men his age but he wasn’t apologetic or concerned about it..

And he was a good sport. He wore suspenders so I bought him St. Patrick Day suspenders and a matching bow tie. On that day, which was my birthday, we went to a spring training game and to The Dirty Dogg Saloon to hear Lane Change, a band that plays at The Pinewood County Club. However, he didn’t buy me a card or gift. Hmmm.

He liked and got along with my new dogs. The dogs sleep in a crate at night. When I’m alone, they happily go into their crate and are silent. However, when The Trucker sleeps over, they make noise. One of them whines intermittently.

I got the idea to buy marrow bones, cook them before bedtime, and give them to the dogs when they went into their crates. My plan didn’t work out. We could hear them gnawing for quite some time.

Was he a candidate for a committed relationship? I thought so at first, being the overly optimistic person I am. After six weeks, no. He already started taking me for granted.

I had a wine and cheese party as a fundraiser for Global Volunteers. He was supposed to be there. I figured it would be a non0threatening way to meet my friends.

The night before, we were supposed to go to a six o’clock movie. He called me at seven-thirty to say he was sick.

He didn’t show up for the wine and cheese party or call. He called me the next day and didn’t mention it. He told me about an argument he had with his son when they worked on his son’s car. I brought it up and he said he was sick. He supposed he should have called to tell me so. He apologized. I guess he forgot that he’d just told me he worked on a car, so he couldn’t have been that sick.

The guy had MRSA, a bad knee, heart issues, and an infection on his lips. He had serious financial problems. And problems with his son.

We arranged to go out to dinner the next week. He came over and just talked about himself. I guess the considerate guy was a mask for the first few weeks. He said he wanted to move to Scottsdale and would I look for apartments for him?

I said, “no.”

He said, why not? You’re not working.”

I told him I was writing.

I couldn’t discuss the issues at dinner because he’s hard of hearing, even though he wears a hearing aid. I had to say everything twice, and loudly.

When we got back to my house, I said, “this relationship is not working for me. You have financial issues, health issues and personal issues. I want someone who can focus on a relationship.”

He said, “Okay.”

He gathered his things and left.

I wasn’t sad. I was relieved.


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