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Motorway at night

Bloody coffee. It never works. I don’t know why I bother. I should try tea, but I hate the stuff. And it makes me piss all night.

Energy drinks. Now that might be a good idea. I’ve heard good things about them, but what did Charlie say? Mix ’em with vodka and your heart doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going. Then it explodes.

No. I can’t stop, can I? No. We’ve got a schedule to keep, a timetable to stick to, even if the reason we’re running so late has got nothing to do with me. I mean, can’t they just let me have a quick kip? All the kids are asleep. Why would it matter now if I was asleep too?

Because it’s not your job to sleep, is it? It’s your job to transport. Lest I forget.

Well, I’m not a bloody machine. You don’t just turn me on and I go. If the parents complain they complain, but no one’s going to get the sack and no one’s going to go back in time to change things if the kids miss something.

I need my sleep. God, I can feel my eyes going. Yawning won’t help. Neither will stretching my eyes open.

I don’t even know where we are anymore. We’ve been heading along this stretch of motorway for so long so it’s all blurring into one. When will it end? When I fall asleep and crash?

Maybe. Maybe that’s a good idea. At least it’s an end. Bill’d pay though. Have to fork out an arm and a leg to the parents. Only if I killed a few of them, mind. If it was only injuries, a few broken bones, well.

But then there’s the company’s reputation to think of: Don’t go with them, the driver’s are no good, they fall asleep at the wheel, they’re fat, they smell, they swear in front of the children, they hit the naughty ones, they turn up drunk reeking of booze, they toss rubbish out the window, they tailgate, they drive too fast, they drive too slow, they’re paedos, they’re human, they need sleep, they wonder why they have to listen to fifty kids screaming and shouting, and teachers telling them where to go even if said teachers have never been there before.

I can’t stand that guy. Maybe I should just hand the controls over to him. See how he goes. He’d sort it out, but – no. He gets to sleep. He even gets to snore a little and dribble down his chin.

You can’t do, you teach. At least I can do something. All he can do is tell me how to do it then fall asleep as if that’s the end of it. Get on with it. You’re a bus driver, aren’t you?

Shit! Better keep an eye on the road or we’ll all be – what? Toast? Toast. When was the last time I ate? Before we got on the boat? Something like that.

Those lines are going a little fuzzy now. How much further? Do I recognise any of this? It’s the same trip as last year pretty much, but at least that was done in daylight. With no boat delay due to choppy seas.

Yes. By now I was asleep at that little hostel. No one does that anymore. At least not the wife. Tuck those sheets under the mattress like you’re a cadet at an army barracks. Just like my gran used to.

It was so snug too, the weight of the duvet pressing me into sleep. And that pillow. Sank into it I did. Perfect. The children in bed. The teachers too. Heaven. Heaven was what it was.

I could go there. That’ll make those, those kids disappear and the bloody teacher.

Even now. Yes. Into the bed. The duvet on me. I could go into a ditch. Wake them all up and sleep. Yes. Sleep.

Just a little to the right and –

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10 thoughts on “Asleep at the Wheel

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