My Friend Geech

Mike Liska

Freddy Geach drove a tow-truck, and had some rare psychological condition so he couldn't recognize people by their faces. Only by voices, and body size, he'd tell me. I get used to voices. It's easy.

Did you ever wonder what happens when a tow truck breaks down? Well, they send a bigger tow truck. The really big ones hardly ever break down, but just in case for when they do there's a Supreme Truck in every state, bigger than the rest. Monsters. There's three Ultimate Trucks in the continental United States, and one in Alaska. They take really good care of these four trucks, because they're the biggest in the world. None of these has ever broken down in a place where it couldn't be fixed on the spot, but there's a lurking fear at the back of every tow-truck man's throat that someday, somewhere, one of them will. What will happen then, you ask? Well, there's a story about that, an old story, that's been around since at least the very first tow truck and maybe before, that when the biggest tow truck in the world breaks the Divine Tow Truck is gonna' drive down from heaven, parting the traffic like the Red Sea, and pull that sucker right down to the nearest service station.

It's one of these Ultimate Trucks that Geach drove. Only a few calls a week, but they took him all over the Western United States. That was his area, and all the truckers called him 'Freddy the Angel' because he would come swooping out of nowhere with a cool beer in one hand and one on the passenger side for whatever poor tired straggler he'd come to save.

Turns out that one time Geach was called in to his hometown of Musgrove, Illinois, to tow a wreck. It was a little out of his way, but nobody else could do the job, they said. The truck had crashed into a telephone pole, victim of the speed rush that comes when you're driving drunk. Burning wreck. After the fire boys put it out, Freddy hooked up to and it drove away, with barely a look at the charred corpse they had pulled out. That corpse, they told him later, was his very own mother. She drove a truck too, it was in their blood. All the authorities had gotten together and decided that it was only fitting for Freddy to tow away his own mother's truck, even though there really were closer drivers. Even though he hadn't recognized her on account of his condition you see, it gave him some sort of satisfaction as well.

I really don't think there's any moral or statement about society that you can draw from this little story, but it's what happened to my friend Freddy Geach, one more of the weird things that are happening in America all the time, the ones you never hear about.