Ticket To Ride, Chapter 4: This statement seemed to strike a chord…



Morgan reemerged from the store holding an opened bottle of papaya-pineapple juice which he raised slowly to his lips, taking a long, refreshing draught, as his medium-length, blonde hair fell around his ears. He turned to Psalm, still seated restlessly on the bench, and said,

“We’re off.”

This decisive statement broke Psalm from yet another of his reveries and he, not quickly, rose and followed the young driver to the orange, rusted, flatbed truck, parked just a few yards up the street.

Once inside the truck Psalm hastily attempted to dust off the dashboard, using an old rag he’d found on the floor, while Morgan slowly depressed the accelerator and turned the key. Morgan knew that Psalm was about to complain and his ability to predict the other’s comical and frantic actions brought a smile to Morgan’s face.

“This damned red dust,” Psalm exclaimed, while his face reddened and the dust he had cleared from the dash found its way to his trousers. He brushed it feverishly, but in vain. “Bloodredduststoned,” he thinks.

“Stop,” he said to himself quietly.

Morgan pressed the gas, let go of the wheel, tucked his hair behind his ears, then grabbed the wheel again.

“You can’t fight it Psalm,” Morgan advised, “as long as the tradewinds blow the dust will find its way to the dash and eventually to your pants… besides, if there are any constants in our lives, the winds are definitely one of them.”

“Well…you can’t just let it pile up,” Psalm retorted in a forced, fatherly tone, unappreciative of Morgan’s comments.

He had, in his mind, talked down to him as if he were the elder of the two. He thinks “GoddamnbroughtthemdeathMorganthere’smorehere.”

“Stop,” he said to himself quietly.

“I suppose, but it’ll be there again next Friday and the Friday after that.” Morgan said matter-of-factly.

This statement seemed to strike a chord in Psalm and for the moment, he was silenced.

The engine was warm now and Morgan pulled the truck slowly from the curb and down to where the main street dead-ended into the old two-lane highway, which was no wider than the main street itself. They stopped, Morgan glanced at the sea between two small buildings in front of them, then turned left. In mid-turn Psalm caught sight of the Congregational Church in the rear-view mirror. He saw a sign in front, there would be a special sermon that evening. Morgan turned right now and pulled the truck into the two-pump gas station. While filling the tank he talked to the attendant, his friend Miko, a young Hawaiian about Morgan’s age.

“How’s the surf out front bruddah?” Morgan asked.

“Getting bigga since dis mornin’ brah.”

“See ya out there.”

“yeah… laters brah.”

Morgan jumped back in and they set off down the highway, which was fringed on either side by rich, green fields of tall, slowly waving sugar cane. Psalm looked at Morgan as if he’d just sinned and thinks, “Darkheathenpagandevil.”

“Stop,” he said to himself quietly.

“He’s a nice kid Psalm, relax.”


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