Will I Ever Like Tuesdays?

Tuesday morning. I wonder if I will ever like Tuesdays again? Will Tuesdays be, for the rest of my life, tinged with a hint of foreboding and a sense of loss? I couldn’t sleep. Of course, I didn’t try very hard. Monday night into Tuesday morning is usually the last bit of freedom I get before returning to the road for another week of a grueling grind. So I have a hard time sleeping through it.
A lot of things are looming on the horizon of late. Foremost among those is Mara’s upcoming hand surgery. I haven’t mentioned that yet. I guess in a way I’ve been afraid to think about that; about what it means. Change. After her surgery on May 1st, she will be out of work for six weeks. That means our days on the dedicated fleet will be over for good. It means that I will either be going back to regular fleet at U.S. Xpress or returning to Epes Transport (if they will have me). Neither Mara nor I have any worldly idea what she’s going to do after she’s healed up.
I’m not afraid of change. But I’m a little intimidated by this one. We had planned to to work until the end of the year on this dedicated run. That meant that I had a little time to put together some equipment. Now I don’t know what anything means. I may have to face the uncomfortable possibility that I need to just let the idea of music go. It’s not going to happen. I should just be happy and stop straining at my bonds. That life was not meant for me. I should enjoy the one I have.
I sound like an asshole. I seem to worry more about my equipment than Mara’s hand. That is simply not true. I’m willing, without hesitation, to set all that aside if Mara can be made whole again. It’s just somewhat stunning to realize that I may very well have reached the end of the line in regard to the dream that’s been with me since I was a child; that, simply, of making music.
There are other things going on. We’re in a permanent funk. We don’t feel like we had any time off because we got fucked out of some of what we had coming to us. Losing that one day off has really eaten away at me, because I know that Ray never once gave a fuck. It never once crossed his mind that it might be unfair to take a day off away from us, and he will never conceive of the possibility that it might be an issue for us. His needs were met. Our needs don’t enter into it. Why are we working for this guy?
A lot of our funk may have to do with laziness. All I know is that all I’ve wanted to do during our time off was sit in front of the computer and play Star Wars Galaxies. The saddest part of that is that the game isn’t even a lot of fun to my anymore. So why do I keep playing it? There are so many better uses of my time. For instance, I could have spent the whole working on the bathroom; painting and getting the doors back up. I painted some, yes, but I probably spent a total of about 2 hours on that bathroom all week. And the crap that’s been sitting in the hallway since Christmas is still sitting in the hallway. I didn’t even get that stuff up into the attic, and that would have taken all of about an hour, if that.
Our funk goes back to our job. We work like dogs. We’re abused by our customers, by our superior (Ray) and by our company. Whenever we talk about quitting Mama starts freeting about how she doesn’t know “how ya’ll will ever pay these bills.” And I’ve reached the point where I feel like the bills can be damned. Our souls are dying because of our jobs. We need to come home and be human again.
One last thing I want to mention is Jeff Whitener. Poor Jeff. His mother, Starla, is one of my ex-girlfriends. Ever since Jeff was born Starla has wanted to believe that Jeff is my son. This has always been there under the surface. So last year I stepped up and told her that we needed to find out once and for all, for Jeff’s sake. So Mara and I researched the issue and found a reputable DNA testing company. We took samples from Jeff, Starla and myself and sent them off. When the results came in, they said that Jeff could not possibly be my son. We don’t share even the basic markers. I believe the exact phrase was that there was a 0% possibility that he was my son.
Well, I’ve found out lately that Starla decided she didn’t believe that. She said she doesn’t trust “the Internet”, like we sent in our DNA samples to a company we found advertising on a box of Cracker Jacks. And poor Jeff is stuck in the middle, again believing that I am his father, and calling the house 3-4 times a day, determined to forge a relationship with me, his perceived father.
I talked to him earlier in the week, but I’ve been afraid to talk with him. When I talked to him I didn’t know that Starla had outright rejected the DNA test. Now I am so angry with Starla that I’m afraid to talk to Jeff. I’m afraid of what I might say. Not that I’m angry with Jeff or that I’d say something to hurt him, but I don’t want to tell him that I think his mother is a kook. What do I say to him? Do I say “Look, your mother has been chasing me for decades”? Do I say “your mother is using this as a way of keeping a link to me”? I mean, what do I say? How do I talk to him now that he thinks I’m his father again?
I’m not just going to turn my back on the boy. But I need some time to digest this. It’s wrong what Starla is doing to him. For one thing, she’s essentially turning him against his own real father because she can’t let go of some fantasy that he’s mine. If he were my child, I would step up. But since the DNA test proved that he’s not, I’m more than a little put off by all this pawing and clutching. Quite frankly, my life is stressful enough without healthy doses of Starla’s habitual melodrama.
Christ. Why can I never find that hole to climb into?

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