Kids spend a whole lot of time dreaming. It’s what they spend the third-most of their time doing, right behind screaming and refusing to do what their parents ask them.
But anytime they close their little eyes, they’re dreaming big dreams. That includes every time they blink. Fast-forwarded dreams, every blink they take. That’s just proven science.
They dream about what they want to be when they grow up. They dream about being astronauts, dragon warriors, bad-guy wrestlers, venture capitalists, ice cream cones, the number 17, etc.
For me, the dream was to drive a semi-truck cross-country, although I’m not really sure why.
Long car rides have never been great. They certainly couldn’t have been all that enjoyable for me, crowded into the back seat of a Pontiac Sunbird with my brother and sister. But maybe I just dreamed of the comfort of having my own driver’s seat, and preferably the largest seat possible, like one in a big rig.
Also, I remember touring my uncle’s semi once, and finding out that they have a bed in the back of their cab. Do you mean to tell me that I can sleep in my vehicle? Sign me up!
Anyway, that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up. And then I grew up, and kind of forgot about the dream, and I’ve been driving a Subaru and writing incessantly. It’s not an awful life.
But I got my chance to live the dream recently, when my family got bored and sold our house. We’d need a moving truck, and I was going to drive it. Maybe get my CDL. Maybe get poached by an oil company out west. You just never know.
I actually intended to get a smaller truck than I did, reserving a 16-ft. truck from a the same place that Wile E. Coyote buys all of his gadgets, because all my plans fall apart, too. But they didn’t have a 16-ft. truck available at the time I got there, so I was upgraded to a 24-ft. truck, which is a diesel-engine monstrosity, huge, ungainly and sort of intimidating.
And yet awesome.
It gave me a chance to finally break my trucker hat out of storage for the first time since trucker hats and Ashton Kutcher were vaguely in vogue, last decade. It has a bucking bronco on it. I’m sure it makes me look tough.
Also, it gave me a chance to sing the theme from “Smokey and the Bandit” and not feel wholly ridiculous.
Big rigs – or, in this case, a moving truck – have gigantic steering wheels. I can’t reach the turn signal while keeping my hands on the wheel, like I can in the car. I have to actually move my arm. Such agony. No wonder Snowman always looked so tired.
Snowman was the basset hound, right?
Not everyone gets to live their childhood dream, but I did. Kind of. I drove a really big truck, I wore a trucker hat, sang along with some country tunes, barked some jibber-jabber into a plastic radio I borrowed from my kid that I was pretending was a CB radio, and slept in the cab for a while, just to see if it was nearly as cool as I thought it could be, back when I was young.
It totally was.
-Columnist Kelly Hagen has a long way to go, and a short time to get there. He’s gonna do what they say can’t be done. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.