No other trucks. He had slept like a baby. His walk across the vacant parking lot took him through the midst of a flock of gulls. He could feel their collective body heat.
They rotated on their spindly legs and webbed feet, each following him with their beaks and eyes. They had wheeled over the portable toilet while he was inside.
Later she asked why he had not called her the moment he got in. He thought about the quiet bunk, the absence of vibration, the snug sea cabin feel of it.
"I needed to sleep. I was exhausted."
Jim Parks is a native of the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, son of a merchant and a bank teller from the black lands where they grow the cotton. Raised in Houston, he did his time in the Navy, college in California, newspapers there, Texas and Florida. Truck driver, deckhand on tugs, tuna clippers, oyster barges and shrimpers; a railroad bum and laborer, he can't remember ever not trying to work hard to tell his stories of sudden death, love, lust and life in print. Tagged as The Legendary Jim Parks by a less than complimentary police captain in Houston, he uses that moniker still to find out who among us has a sense of humor and who does not.