Racing the Storm


When I worked in the electronics department at Sears, the full-commission employees would ask that I give them my sales since I got paid a base. Sometimes I forgot.

This big Puerto Rican guy from Colorado, who also got paid a base salary, was named Mark. He said he came to Oregon on his Harley a few months before I started working.

He told me enough gang stories for me to realize that he either killed someone and was running or someone wanted to kill him and he was running.

He lived with a girlfriend who was a stripper. For her birthday he bought her a waffle maker. He said she was moody and quiet and that one of these days, when he couldn’t put up with her, he’d leave. I asked him where’d he go and he said he didn’t know.

He said one time, as he drove through Texas, he saw dark clouds and lightning flashing in the sky. As the storm moved toward closer to him in the distance he sped up. And for one hundred miles he raced the storm on his bike.

One day, about four months into my job, Mark didn’t show up for work. The manager said he picked up his check that morning. I never saw him again.

I’m reminded of him when I see black clouds in the distance.

I wonder if he’s still running.

And I wonder if he’ll ever stop.


[photo via wade]

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