I’ve been on the go most of my life. I love the open road – it clears my head and soul. They say life on the road is lonely, but I don’t find it so at all. I meet more people in a day on the road than most folks meet in a month.
I get to a new city and I feel like it’s only the beginning. A clean slate. I love being in a place and knowing I wasn’t born there and I’m not going to die there. I’m just passing through.
I arrived in Columbus, Ohio, today, fresh from a rare layover in my least favorite place: home. That’s Rochester, New York. But Columbus is a great city. Everything’s just so and very clean, and the people are friendly — at least to your face, and when you’re passing through that’s all you need.
I’m not saying they’re not friendly down deep – I just don’t know. I’ll be staying in Columbus, Ohio for a few more days. Maybe then I’ll know.
I’m a salesman for a major aircraft parts manufacturer. No, life on the road isn’t lonely, far from it. My job lets me fly first class and stay in the best hotels everywhere, and I always know where to find company, if you know what I mean.
I’m not kidding when I say it’s the life I always dreamed of.
The only problem with Columbus, Ohio is the temperature. A body could freeze out there in a few minutes flat! But that’s no different from Rochester.
I never know who I’m going to meet next on the road. For example. Today I met a sheriff and three deputies. They met me at our booth on the show floor and wanted to show me a photograph. The sheriff asked me if I knew them man in it. I immediately said yes – he was a cousin of mine. My father’s cousin.
I answered few other questions, where was the last time I’d seen him, when was that, how close was our relationship – until it hit me and I said, “is this a murder investigation?” “Not yet,” was all one of the deputies said. He was really cocky and looked at me as if he already had the handcuffs on me.
Then the interview was over – they didn’t even tell me what they knew.
I don’t know what it is about a young body. Some people are so captivating that you don’t just want them, you want to be them. I’m not good enough with words to do it all justice.
Aaron I think was his name. Or Eric? I met him at a club and by 12:30 he was finally drunk enough to care about the names I dropped – people I’d met over twenty years of selling to the government and private aircraft owners. Meaning rich people.
So it started like any other night, but back at my hotel room I found he was something special. Flawless skin, creamy and smooth except when covered in goosebumps. Soft brown shaggy hair. Ropes of muscles from top to bottom, long sinewy muscles.
Perfect, honestly perfect. And the heat, the heat radiating from a body, carried on each breath – there’s nothing in the world like the heat from another human being.
This kid also knew how to make you think he gave a shit even when he didn’t. When he kissed it was like he was reaching for the back of your soul. And he was even sort of classy. Well, I said I knew how to find company.
I looked on the computer after Aaron or Eric was gone and found an article on the man the sheriff asked me about. His body was found frozen in a ditch near his home in Rochester. I laughed before I could catch myself. I already knew what happened. Another drunk frozen dead in a ditch. It’s not exactly original.
I’m surprised at how quickly the police tracked me down. I guess today everything is interconnected and they can get information from all over the country at their fingertips.
Ten years ago when my mother was killed their leads stopped dead in the suburbs of Rochester. I wonder if the police are less motivated when they know nobody else is overly interested in finding out what happened? They also didn’t have any real suspects. Back then I don’t remember the term “person of interest.” Hell, I bet we were all pretty interesting back then, the whole damn family.
His name was Aaron. No, I didn’t suddenly remember it. I found out when I read it on his name tag as he took my order at a swanky restaurant next to the convention hall.
He’d given me his real name – who does that? He actually tried to talk to me, right there at the table. I would think he’d know better. He knows better now. I created a little bit of a scene but the guys with me were co-workers and not prospects. I don’t think poor Aaron knew what to do, he just scurried away like a rat off a sinking ship.
But then he came back a few minutes later. He continued to serve us politely and courteously, I’ll give him that, and for that my co-worker decided Aaron deserved a forty-percent tip. Kid knows how to tug at the heart strings as well as any salesman.
I have to be honest with you now. The man in the photograph was my father, not some relative of his. And now I lied to the police and said he was a distant cousin, and that’s easy enough to check and they’ll be back. Why sometimes I make things more difficult than they had to be. I just didn’t want to say it. It’s a long story – well, if you’ve seen more than a few movies, or one single movie on Lifetime, you already know the story. Can we leave it at that? I just didn’t have it in me to say it.
I got an email from my brother Jim about funeral plans. On my personal email, which I tell everyone I never check even though I really do. But I don’t feel the need to reply to Jim since I never check my personal email.
©2012 Jason Anderson