East St. Louis, Jon Sage, Ride My Highway, ridemyhighway.com

East St. Louis & Headin’ Home

From the upcoming book, Ride My Highway, coming out late Summer 2017. One of several previews upcoming.

“The scales in Indiana and Illinois were closed, and so it must’ve been around 10:00 pm or so when I reached the truck stop at East St. Louis. If you’ve never been, East St. Louis looks halfway nice in the daytime, but at night- kind of turns into a landscape occupied by boarded up houses, strip joints, and crack whores wandering broken down sidewalks. Of course, the hard working girls eventually find their way to the stop, because in reality, the truckers are the only ones that have enough money day in and day out to buy hookers. Then, the money goes directly into a needle in their arm or a crack pipe between their lips and round and round we go.

The drop yard for the batteries was over on the west side of St. Louis. From there, I had a bit of a change up in my load planning, and was loading for Louisville. On the way, I would stop by the house for a few days. I hadn’t been “home”, wherever that was… for a few weeks, and they were routing me back through. As a rule, Rob tried to get you through the house a couple times a month, whether you wanted to go or not. It was easy to stay focused and moving while you were out and running. But, once the truck started heading for home, most guys began to look forward to a couple days of “Off Duty” R & R, and the miles always passed quicker than before.

But, it never failed that after 2 or 3 days, the pretending was over with, and I was back at the wheel. Ultimately, I would be back in the wind, heading west-or-east-and all points in between, ready for another go at it on the road. Home wasn’t home, at least not the way it should have been. Home was the highway- the highway and her song always called me away from the life I had once known, from the life I no longer knew. The highway was waiting to hold me between the white lines, and urged me onward as the night flew by.”

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