When I first started my career in the automotive aftermarket, I could go for several days with little sleep. I would drive countless miles, work until all hours of the night and do it all over again the next day.
I could “set ‘em up, knock ‘em down” and sing “It’s Closing Time” with what I was told to be the voice of an angel. I could slurp the foulest cup of gruel and sustain myself with any type of exotic cuisine only to awaken the next morning with little disdain for the treasonous acts that my body had endured the prior evening.
That was my life as a young sales rep. It didn’t happen like that every night on the road, but it did happen. Everyone who has lived life on the road has a few of those stories.
That was then and this is now. Fast forward 25 years and here I am again living life on the road. Albeit a mature life on the road. I am rudely reminded that my maturity presents me with a new set of challenges. My tastes have become somewhat more refined, my indulgences far fewer and much less tolerable, and my appreciation for simple pleasures eagerly anticipated. Some might say expected.
My tale of woe highlights only two simple, yet expected, modicums of the sublime. A decent meal and a clean bed. My neglected youthful judgment and its penalties, regardless of the fables they conjure, are fresh enough in my memory, and that’s how I want to keep them – a memory.
Now I like a clean bed, a decent meal and sufficient sleep. I’ve danced with Montezuma and tempted God. At my age, there is only so much Pepto Bismol can cure, and I imagine that God is tired of my antics. These last few months have made me realize good food and clean sheets are tough to find.
After a recent seven-hour drive, I was looking forward to checking into my hotel. I have discount cards, membership cards and reward cards for every hotel, motel, airline and fuel station in North America. It’s a new thing for me, that’s how long I’ve been away from living on the road. I qualify for an AARP card, but my ego has kept me from mailing the application.