Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.


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Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Truck Trope

The truck is a big draw for H's pals. They like to climb all over it, sit behind the wheel, stomp around in back. Where does the truck-trope come from? Not to get essentialist here, but it seems buried deep somewhere near the heart of guydom. So far, very few little girls have expressed interest in either of our trucks, but boys seem drawn to them, magnetically. Is it the big, boxy, toylike shape? The deep growl of the engine? Or just the simple, blunt, graspable size of everything?
 I had a serious truck-trope as a boy, and would stare at them for hours. My family lived in an apartment in Montreal. We had a very metropolitan lifestyle. My father wasn't at all interested in trucks, or cars, though we always had a sedate sedan, which he always traded in every three years, after consulting me on what to buy next, since he didn't much care.  I remember my first ride out in the open, in the back of a pickup truck, at Goose Rocks Beach, Maine when I was 6. I learned to drive the summer I was 12, in a 1951 Chevrolet Advanced Design pickup that Emil Cochand drove all the way home to St Marguerite, Quebec, from Missoula, Montana, where he was on the U of Montana ski team.

              Emil's truck had a suicide knob on the wheel; very cool.
              My next truck-love was the 1961 Apache I drove when I was working on the GH Ranch in Sundre, Alberta.

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