Friday, February 17, 2012
In Which I Drive an Imaginary Truck
It's more than a little embarrassing, for starters, and not embarrassing in a socially-sanctioned way, like admitting you watch the Bachelor or play for team Jacob. There's no me too attached to this confession, no murmurs of recognition, absolution.
I shouldn't have to write this. I have a college degree. (Er...many college degrees.) I have a job. (Many jobs.) I am married; I contribute to charity; I try each day to help rather than hurt, to live a life that, if not useful, is at least more or less blameless.
I'm also trying really hard to get to Boise on time with the dirt.
My name is Anne and I drive a virtual truck.
It started innocently enough. Someone close to me was addicted to an online trucking simulator, a concept I found so ludicrous, so hilariously pointless, I had to step up to plate, if only to amass more stuff to make fun of. Why on earth would you waste your daylight hours doig something so patently useless? Real trucking is an important part of our national economy, but virtual trucking? Pressing a button again and again in order to inch 67 miles further along the road to Southport, NC?
It was easy -too easy- to set up my free account. A quick trip to www.truckingsim.com and I was in possession of my first truck, a run-down Mack from the early 1990s. It got 5 miles to the gallon and I painted it a brilliant shade of puce. Then I hit the road, on my way from Richmond to Corpus Christi with 40,000 lbs of TV dinner.
There's something comforting about it, this imaginary trucking. One hour of trucking equals one hour of real time, so you press your button ten times (one push = one hour of driving), and then are forcd to wait until you're no longer "exhausted" and can drive again. There's a rhythm to it, therefore, and, in addition, a satisfying forward motion, and ononon you can never quite achieve on the muddy, rutted roads of day-to-day. It's a cooperative game. My company, Atlantic Coast Transport, has 10 drivers. We're stalwart, diligently running our contract loads, chatting from time to time on the company's CB.
224 to Houston, says Canadianjohn.
2nd load down, responds Mirmil
My response is brief, a single emoticon, one pixillated beer. There's no point in talking; I'm on my way.