Friday, June 24, 2011

#1 The New Truck

At thirty-four years of age, Dallon Miller still thrived off being the oldest of his three brothers.  He kept this joy close and quiet. He treasured it. Whenever something great would happen to one of his younger brothers, he would smile and congratulate them but inside he would feel terribly jealous. So Dallon would think to himself, "Well, I'm still the oldest." Oddly, that was all he needed to feel better.

Dallon's youngest brother, Mike, was turning thirty. Life had been good to him. Mike decided to buy himself a present for being so lucky. A new car. Well, it was four years old but it was new to Mike. He decided to invite his family over to celebrate his life at a birthday party.

When Dallon heard the news, he smiled and graciously accepted the invitation to come to the birthday party. But inside, his stomach reeled with anger. Why was Mike doing all this? Dallon reminded himself he was the oldest but this time it didn't help. There was no more comfort in being alive four and a half years longer than Mike.

Dallon thought of a better idea. He went to the nearest car dealer and bought himself a brand-new Ford F-350. It was white and chrome and beautiful. It was all he needed to feel better.

Dallon's choice of vehicle seemed like a mystery to anyone outside his own mind. He wasn't the outdoorsy type. He lived in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, so there was certainly no need for a large truck, unless he was planning on using it to help his friends move large pieces of furniture. If this was his intention, he certainly confused his friends by repeatedly turning them down when they asked for such assistance. The real reason Dallon chose the truck was deep inside himself. He couldn't say why, but it filled a truck-shaped hole in his soul.

The day of Mike's Birthday party arrived and Dallon was anxious to show his kid brother his new and better toy. Dallon hopped into his fantastic new truck and headed north up the I-15 to his brothers house. While on route, Dallon felt like a king. It might have been because he sat a few feet higher from the asphalt, or maybe it was because other motorists could see themselves in his chrome as Dallon cruised by in the fast lane.

Some people might think Dallon should have bought a sports car. He drove well over the speed limit and a large truck wasn't best suited for such use. Despite the gas he drained, he drove faster. Now he was taller and faster than anyone else on the freeway.

When the interstate thinned out to two lanes, Dallon grew impatient. The speed limit dropped to 65 MPH. Cars in the fast lane drove 75 MPH and Dallon wanted to drive 85 MPH. Dallon found yet another solution to the mathematics and physics of the situation. Intimidation.

Dallon came up behind the car in the fast lane. He crept uncomfortably close. The car, surely feeling inferior, quickly changed lanes and allowed Dallon to pass. It worked like a charm. Dallon was invincible in his gorgeous new truck. He sped-up past the weaker cars and tried his new trick on the next opponent. Again, as he crept up behind the car it changed lanes and yielded to Dallon's superiority. The next twenty-minutes went on the same way. He plowed through the traffic and his confidence grew.

A little white Toyota drove in the fast lane. Dallon's next obstacle. It was driving 80 MPH, well over the speed-limit. Dallon tailgated the little car and crept even closer to add a little urgency, but the Toyota wouldn't budge. Annoyed, Dallon inched closer to make his point. The Toyota didn't move.

"He's not paying any attention to his mirrors," Dallon said to himself. "That's dangerous." He decided to back off, only a little, and try a faster approach. When he tried his latest scare tactic, the little Toyota made a sharp, one-second break then continued driving as before.

"You're going to kill someone!" Dallon screamed as if the little Toyota could hear. "I can't believe you just break checked me!"  Dallon was so outraged that he almost didn't see the exit coming. He snapped to attention, signaled and changed lanes so he could make the exit.

The little Toyota changed just as quickly and was, again, the only obstacle between Dallon and the exit. It must have been some sort of challenge. Why would the little Toyota want to mess with such a massive truck?

Dallon turned the wheel and approached the exit, this time without signaling. The little Toyota must have anticipated such a move because it also turned off the exit ahead of Dallon.

The reality set in. "You want to fight over this?" Dallon yelled at the Toyota. He balled his fists around the steering wheel and prepared for a very, very serious conversation.

The Little Toyota pulled into the parking lot of the closest gas station. A good place to draw some blood. Dallon revved his engine as he pulled up along side the Toyota. With one last deep breath, Dallon opened the door and dropped the distance to the ground where he would make his stand.

At ground level, Dallon could finally see inside the Toyota for the first time. His own 12-year-old niece sat in the passenger seat holding a brightly wrapped gift. The drivers door opened and Mike popped up, looking angry and confused. "Dallon?" He said.         

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