Art by Paul Rios
Editor’s Note: The Last Week’s Memoir series is a collaborative story written by Jake Corbin, Bryce McEfee and Paul Rios. View previous LWM Serial No.1 entries to read the story from the beginning.
For the last six years, Larry Miller has been the delivery truck driver for Mattress Discounters. Despite sharing his name with the famous actor and comedian, this Larry Miller is completely devoid of humor.
“Here’s where we’re headed,” Larry deadpanned to Andy, handing him a map without bothering to look in his direction. Andy didn’t take it as a sign of disrespect. He knew Larry was just being efficient—no energy lost through conversation and never breaking stride once a delivery mission was underway.
The two reached the front of the delivery truck, parted ways and opened the two front doors simultaneously. From an outsider’s point-of-view, you’d swear it was a choreographed move. Once inside, Andy noticed Larry’s no-nonsense work ethic extended to the inside of his delivery truck cab. His mobile cubicle was immaculate. Maps were neatly tucked within arms reach in the side door should the vehicle’s GPS go out, the windows were as clean as the day they left the factory, a pen and notepad were magnetically attached to the dash, the seats looked recently vacuumed… basically, there were no details, other than the 123,000 miles being digitally displayed from the odometer, that the truck was ever used. You would think Larry might ease up a bit due to the lack of mattress sales, but he never did. He was like an Army general during peacetime: always prepared for action.
Andy sunk into the passenger seat and took a closer look at the map detailing their delivery coordinates.
“Uh, did you grab the right map? This says we’re heading to the old warehousing district. Who would be buying mattresses out there?”
Andy finished his sentence and looked up from the map to see Larry staring back at him with intense, unblinking eyes.
“Yes, I grabbed the right map. Yes, that is where we are headed. If you have any further inquiries, you can consult the order detail.” Andy decided he would take Larry’s word for it.
The next 20 minutes were spent in silence—Larry driving with the intensity of an F-16 pilot and Andy zoning out to the sounds of tires on concrete. Andy didn’t mind the lack of communication; it was pretty hard to talk to someone about the ballgame when they seemed programmed for only “yes” or “no” answers, anyway.
Another 10 minutes passed before the two exited the freeway towards their destination. It wasn’t long before they were surrounded by massive warehouses on both sides of the street—and completely alone. Had they been driving down a dirt road, Andy would have assumed they wandered onto the set of a futuristic Western ghost town. The empty buildings looked like cadavers stacked neatly on the lifeless street.
“I wonder what this part of town used to look like?” Andy said softly, still looking out of the window.
“Not like it does now.”
Andy was surprised Larry responded. Larry looked surprised himself.
“What do you know about th…” Andy said, but Larry cut him off.
“It looks like we’re here.”