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Quirky and qutoable

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      It's two o'clock in the morning and I am eating at a truck stop. This time of night is the twilight zone where some people are not quite ready to go home yet.

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Truckers eat and relax before rushing to their final destination. They criss-cross the country, always pushing their limits. They have money to make, deadlines to meet. The highway is their companion and their enemy. The horizon of the land is elusive, a mirage of asphalt and dirt.

There are also the "partiers" showing up after closing time. They are not quite done in their pursuit of a good time. Their language is rough and their laughter is raucous. Numerous topics are discussed that seem of great importance at the moment.

As I take pleasure in observing the Night Owl's Kingdom, I also appreciate watching the waitresses working. They are still cheerful at those wee hours of the night. They know how to handle those "hoodlums" with their quick comebacks and do not flinch at whatever comes their way. It's hard to be on your feet for eight to 10 hours a day, but they do their job well and still keep a good attitude.

Yes, it is quite entertaining here tonight. The Americana is still alive and well. It is what humanity is all about; but, in the depth of the night, the people you encounter are definitely a breed apart. Their behavior and communication undergo a metamorphosis. Amidst all this disarray, laughter prevails and, thank God, none of them are taking themselves too seriously.

I am thankful to all of these strangers who are here, they make me appreciate human nature with all its craziness, weakness and strength.

So, one more time, I have enjoyed my travels. I got to know and understand a little more of what happens after the reasonable citizens go to sleep and the "graveyard shift" of the city takes over.

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