I guess it was around June or July of 1995, and I was driving back from Dallas to Abilene where I was stationed on the Air Force Base. I had a friend, Jeremy with me, and we were flying down the highway at no less than sixty (60) miles per hour. That may seem a little fast to the common person, but keep in mind – I was driving my old 1990 Chevy Cavalier, which had over a hundred thousand miles on it. So sixty was no sweat. No sweat at all.
Jeremy was reclined in the passenger seat, catching some Zs. A black pickup passed me on the left side, but not too quickly, and I looked over at the passengers. Seeing they were a couple of guys about my age, I waved at them. The guy in the passenger seat waved back, friendly enough. Well, they got a few hundred yards ahead and I decided to do something crazy. We had a twelve-pack of Pepsi (God only knows why it was Pepsi and not Coke, or Dr. Pepper, or Diet RC) cans on the console between us, and having only drunk about two or three between the both of us, I figured we could share a couple.
So I jammed on the gas to catch up, and within the hour had managed to pull up alongside the pickup again. I rolled down my window and held up a Pepsi can, asking if they’d like one. The guy rolled down his window and I handed him the can. I said, “Hang on,” and grabbed another one for the driver. After I’d passed the cans, the dude in the passenger seat thanked me and asked me where I was headed. I told him Dyess. He said, “Cool, we’re headed back to Tech.” Come to think of it, that might have been his first question to me: “Are you headed to Texas Tech?” We chatted very briefly and rolled up windows, and he went on. Jeremy was still asleep.
The pickup pulled ahead again, and I was in a good mood for sharing. Then I saw brake lights. They had something else to say, I supposed. So they got even with me again and we rolled our windows down. The dude handed me a Big Grab bag of Doritos chips. Unopened. I guess we were all carrying extra groceries with us that day.
I thanked him and he went on ahead again. I was in a really good mood now, because I had a cool story to tell. I’d always thought about swapping stuff on the highway with someone. Cigarettes, baseball cards, girlfriends, whatever. But it had really happened, and it was a good feeling knowing I had a friend out there I’d never ever see again – and probably wouldn’t recognize if I did. But he’s telling the other side of that story.
Jeremy finally woke up when I was opening the bag of Doritos and asked what was going on. I told him about the exchange, and he was immediately pissed off that I hadn’t awakened him. Chill out dude. I had a craving for Doritos, so I made arrangements to have some delivered. That’s what I wish I would have told him.