As a single gal who’s ready for fun, I occasionally pull over and pick up an adorable hitchhiker dude to mix things up a bit. You know the type: pale, quiet, deeply unsettled by something in his past, and trying to correct it or communicate with lost loved ones. What can I say; I’m a sucker for that dark mysterious type! That’s why it’s so frustrating when time after time, the men I pick up on the side of the road on dark moonlit nights turn out to be ghosts who’ve died exactly 60 years ago to-the-day I met them. This keeps happening to me and I don’t know why!
It happens every time: I’ll just be driving along, happily confiding in a guy, Robert, who said his Buick broke down a ways back, when–swoosh–he vanishes before my eyes right there in the passenger seat. Later, when I ask about him at a nearby gas station, the attendant will be yammering on about how a man named Robert died on that curve in the road back in 1956 on the way home to his bride. It’s so frustrating! Why can’t I find a single alive man out there on the highway?!
Other times I’ll pick up a guy at the bus stop when it’s raining and the next week when I return to the home where I dropped him off to see if he wants to grab a drink sometime, his elderly mother will answer the door, exclaiming “George? George died sixty years ago. Why does he keep bringing these girls home? I can’t keep getting up to answer the door. It’s hard on my joints.”
It’s good to know I’m not alone, but still…
I know part of the problem is my type–polite guys with good old-fashioned names like Jack who have this hazy look about them as they wave me down on the side of the road and seem to be stuck in some sort of time loop. I need to branch out and let myself fall for a guy with a flushed lively complexion, someone who is able to talk about events that happened within the last sixty years, someone who probably isn’t dead.
Just once I’d like to share a late-night connection with a guy I picked up at the side of the road without finding out later via the library’s microfiche that he died exactly sixty years ago. Is it too much to ask to meet a guy hitchhiker who’s got a living, beating heart and isn’t just another ghost, cursed to wander along the highway for all eternity?!
But I just can’t seem to help myself. I love these lost soul types, these men in 1950s style pleated pants and a jacket draped over their arm. I love the way they look into the distance as if they’re remembering rather than seeing what’s in front of them and the way they smile like they’ve never known internet or video games. Why can’t that type of man be looking for a relationship and also alive?
As it stands, I have to accept the fact that history has proven: Ladies, don’t trust hitchhikers. They will always be men who died on the side of the road exactly sixty years ago today. Don’t make the same mistake I’ve made, over and over again, for some inexplicable reason.