If you wear the Lone Ranger mask and drive a rolling work of art like Silver, the cops will pull you over, gospel truth. I am on a just mission, on the side of law and God. I am not afraid. I don’t tell them “Yes, sir” and “No, sir.” I don’t kiss up to them. I think they respect me for that. I keep the license and registration in the sunvisor and I have it in my hand when they come up to me. They are always surprised by that. They always say, “Sir, can I ask you why you are wearing a mask?” I say, “I like the mask and it does not interfere with my vision.” I also have a letter from my optometrist certifying that this is so. Dr. Blexier said, “Henry, this is a first for me.” If you don’t like being bored don’t bitch to me about not a brand new first.

I don’t enjoy being harassed by the government. I don’t ask for it. I will be damned if I will stop being myself, though. I been me all my life. Too late to stop now. It is only when I get over fifty mile from home that I run into much trouble. Around here all the older people know me. Well, they are used to Silver, not me. They remember her after they see her. I have a mission of humanity. I have goals. One goal is to get the young people to meet with me in the parking lot of a closed grocery store at night. I give them free soft drinks and read a Bible story, but as I read it. I break it down so they can understand it. There are some pretty damn entertaining stories in there. If you know how to read to them. When I read the Bible story, the characters might cuss a little bit. I get their interest. I tell them I know it is hard not to smoke but they need to give it up. I haul out the bucket. That is where I have them dump their metal. The body piercing stuff. I ask them to take it out, take it off, unscrew it, un-pin it, drop it in the bucket. I give them addresses of two hospitals that will take off their tattoos. The body is the temple of the holy spirit. Don’t defile it.

I love the art on my highway house. A student at the Memphis College of Art helped me paint it. I live in it. I left off Bible verses and stuff like that, just pretty colors. Bible warnings scare off people. They think I am a hippie when they see my art. Hippie. Don’t think so. I want the young people to hear the words of God. I want them to do right. Maybe Silver plays a trick on them to get them to gather in. Maybe Jesus would not have gotten that crowd if he told everybody, “Hey, I ain’t got but a couple of fish sandwrenchs here.” Naw, he got ‘em together first, then they got fed, but he kept quiet about the food. He did his preachin’ and I do mine.

I witness to truckers. I pull in at the big truck stops. Truckers like the mask, they say, “Are you givin’ out free chaw?” They think of chewing tobacco when they see the mask. There is one called “Bandit.” I think that is right. Anyways they do come up and listen and I tell them right. I’ve had them ask me to come up in their truck cab for a private prayer. The trucker might be struggling with a drug addiction. Some are away from home, out on the road. There are temptations on both sides. One time I was in Mount Eagle and I was up in the cab of a Peterbuilt,beautiful truck. I prayed with the trucker as his son was going blind, some diabetes thing that hits little kids now. He has the sugar. I never saw a bigger man cry. He was humbled. God will do that to you. He asked me if I could make him blind so his kid could see. He wasn’t kidding. He thought I could work a deal. He had already asked the doctors if they could put his eyes in the kid, he said they laughed at him. I told him God didn’t work that way, at least I was pretty sure he didn’t. Who knows for sure? I don’t.

On his dash board he had a little rubber devil. It was holding a little yellow plastic sign. The sign said, “Hell yes!” He also had two rubber sunny side up fried eggs. On them was written, “Have a sunny side up day!” I told him that devil needed to come off there and that the two eggs did not equalize out the devil. He looked at me and then he got stiff and kind of offended. He just changed right in front of me. He got angry. He said, “What the hell do you know? Wearing a damn Lone Ranger mask? Get out of my truck.” I did. He flipped me off. Boy, he was hot. I think what happened there is he got embarrassed or frustrated or something. I am not sure. I hope he took that devil off the dashboard and flung it off out the window. I hope another truck run over it. I hope he replaced it with a little cross like I got on my dashboard.

I am good at hoping. I hope I see Tonto again. He was my dog. He run off at a truck stop four years ago. Never seen him again. I hope my ex-wife wrecks my car which she had no right to have since she is a drunk and I paid for it. I hope her boyfriend is back in jail where he so righteously belongs. I hold on to hope like a silver bullet.

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