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(east/west, day four: Arkansas, Oklahoma)

Up earlier than I need to be, thank you palm pilot

Still faithfully keeping the time I left in the east

Already hot before the dawn and it’s anything but quiet

Truckers fire up their diesel and I rev up my beast

So good morning Arkinsaw, here I go, happy Friday

Glad I didn’t get jeltzed by an 18-wheeler overnight

All loaded up and checked out, no it’s hey hit the highway

Maybe I’ll get where I need to go while there’s still plenty of light

Get up and go—ignore that hellhound following too close

Get up and go—don’t look but it’s been tailgating ever since you left the coast

Get … up and go!

The Delta’s flat and smooth as I roll through Little Rock

Through bill and hill country into the Ozarks I climb

Nuclear One’s mist column rises and I have to make a pit stop

But the rest area’s busted up like the scene of a grisly crime

I can feel eyes watching me and it’s Deliverance creepy

Without going, I get going, and I’m glad to be gone

Trying not to think about it after shuddering deeply

I watch the road ahead and keep on keeping on

Get up and go—banish those spirits that are watching from the woods

Get up and go—rip out that devil lurking under the hood

Get … up and go!

And I’m in the roaming zone, the so-called extended network

Radio silence envelops this stretch of the ride

Through the center of the country, several hours between cities

Hope I can lose all these howlers before I reach the other side.

The road’s in such a poor state and the pavement’s substandard

And it’s hogged by more trucks projecting the stench of swine

And while the good folks that live here don’t deserve to be slandered

I’m relieved to be over the Oklahoma line

The road is better at first but soon it’s cracked and pitted

Rattle and bounce as 40 goes on interminably

The Trail of Tears haunts me and I keep my teeth gritted

Till I finally find my exit and get off at OKC

Get up and go—bypass those ghosts dancing around the lake

Get up and go—and for the love of good, don’t listen to that old hissing snake

Get … up and go!

Get up and go—exorcise that demon riding shotgun in front

Get up and go—kick him out the cab with a well-placed punt

Get up and go—one thing’s for sure, these “haints” do exist

Get up and go—so do the things you have to do in order to resist

Get … up and go!

©2024 The Hesh Inc.

"Big Piney" - original AI art by The Hesh Inc.
Would YOU stop to 'take care of business' here??

The fourth day of the voyage started in Heth, Arkansas, where I joined the big-rig drivers revving up their machines just before dawn, getting ready for the day's haul. The Arkansas Delta was flat and rolled by smoothly, but soon as I was through Little Rock I was up into the Ozarks, and the roads were not in good shape. Within view of the pillar of vapor rising from the cooling tower of Arkansas Nuclear One (and its radiation zapping any signal to my cell phone), nature urgently called me and I pulled over to the next rest area I approached. I parallel-parked my rig and went up into the rest area to find the restroom ... everything was in busted-up condition and I had a distinct feeling that I was being watched. The whole scene looked like a nasty crime could be committed there, and I wasn't about to become its sacrificial victim. I just turned around and went back to the truck without taking care of business and got moving, without looking back. 'Answering the call' could wait.

More twists and turns through the Ozarks on seemingly untended roads, till I was finally over the Oklahoma state line ... at first all was neat and clean, with a well-tended, landscaped welcome center. But soon as I was past that, the road became cracked and pitted once more, and I rattled and bounced till I got to Oklahoma City. The whole time I drove, I could not help but think that this middle-of-nowhere territory was the terminus of the Trail of Tears, and the whole landscape was populated by the spirits of all who died along the forced march from the Southeast. Not soon enough I reached OKC, and I was almost all the way through town without finding a place to stop when I saw an exit leading to several hotels, and I chose the one that had the first lot I could park my truck in. And that was my Friday on the road.

Musically, I imagine the 'hook' of this song lifted from an old Ozark Airlines radio spot that I remember from my childhood (but somehow could not find when searching online), contrasting with the borderline scary suggestion of invisible spirits haunting me and dogging my steps around every twist and turn through both states.


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