Not so long ago I was driving along one of our main roads and came across this:
It captured my imagination, so much so that I had to stop the car and catch it on camera.
I am now intrigued by these two whom I have never met. What is their story? What drove Tommy to proclaim his love and high regard for Faye and her achievements? Where are they now? Are they happy? In the city there are a thousand lives. In the city there are a thousand poles. In the city there are a thousand stories.
Are Tommy and Faye lovers? Siblings? Is this is the first time Tommy has proclaimed his love for Faye? Does Faye travel the same way everyday so Tommy is guaranteed a viewing? Is this Tommy’s prelude to or part of a proposal? Are Tommy and Faye young and impetuous? And why the need for Tommy to go public?
This is my ballad of Tommy and Faye.
Tommy was a truck driver. He drove a semi and usually did the gruelling Sydney to Melbourne run. He was a man’s man, loved his beer, loved his mates and had simple needs. Being constantly on the road in his home on wheels fed Tommy’s need for freedom, he was always on the move. There was never really time to stop, the big supermarket chains were relentless in their delivery needs, you missed a pick up or drop off by more than half an hour, you’d lose 5% off the job, cutting your margin to almost nothing. Not only that, your reputation as the best and most reliable of the best would slip and the work flow would slow to a trickle. The pressure and the traffic were ever present, but Tommy just kept on truckin’. It was the only life he knew.
Tommy was not one to examine his feelings in depth. Depth was a dark scary place that held surprises. Tommy hated surprises. However, discontent seemed to be gnawing constantly at his gut lately. Instinctively he knew he couldn’t continue with this life on the road forever. He had to settle down and start thinking about starting a family. His Gran always razzed Tommy that he would end up buried in the back of his truck with only his beer for company.
The one bright spot on Tommy’s horizon was Faye. Gorgeous Faye with the big eyes and even bigger dreams. Faye who was hell bent on making something out of her life and forgetting the abuse she had suffered at the hands of her overbearing father. Faye, the blond vixen who fit neatly under Tommy’s big arms, who made him forget the pressures of the road, who filled him with hope and yearning. Faye, who didn’t drink beer, but made him laugh like no on else. Faye, the one who made him feel.
Tommy’s mind went back to two weeks ago, to the fight he had with Faye. He’d been on the road ever since, a slave to the big chain supermarkets, and he missed her. Faye had advised Tommy that she couldn’t wait for him for ever and now that she had finished her early childhood studies certificate, she was working her way to opening up her own day care centre. Tommy was never book smart and felt totally out of his depth when speaking to Faye about her course and that unease came through the night of their fight. Tommy remembered Faye’s plea for security and stability, for a partner who would be there for her to share the journey. At that moment, Tommy questioned whether he was the right man for Faye, whether she could ever share in his world and stop dragging him into hers. The only problem was that he asked those questions aloud and in Faye’s presence. Faye’s big eyes and harsh words pierced right through Tommy’s gut, never mind his heart, which had taken refuge behind a wall of machismo.
In the two weeks he had been on the road with only his beer and his machismo for company, the kilometres stretching behind and before him in a never ending rotation of numbers, the highway scenery blending with his thoughts and his discontent he had found his clarity. His truth. Faye was his world and for her he was prepared to be vulnerable.
He just needed a way to grab her attention….
Has a homemade road sign ever grabbed your notice? Do you ever wonder about the backstory to those signs?
Please feel free to use this photo as a writing prompt. If you do, I’d love it if you posted a link to your post in the comments below so we can read it.
PS. I don’t usually write fiction, so this is new territory for me.