Overheard in the truck
Hedon is sitting in the driver’s seat, working on her logbook. Stace is in the bunk, reading.
Hedon: Oh my god! That was nearly a catastrophe!
Hedon: I thought I’d messed up my logbook. Stupid watch!
Stace considers this for a moment, wondering what leaps Fernando has made here, and why, exactly, Hedon’s watch should have anything to do with her logbook.
Stace: Did your watch stop or something?
Hedon: No. It’s this stupid time zone thing.
Hedon: And my stupid big old fat wrist.
Stace: I’m not really following you … uh …
Hedon sighs, as if she’s got something better to do than explaining the obvious.
Hedon: When I got this stupid watch, I saw that you can set it with two different time zones. I used the central time zone, of course, for one, and then decided I’d set the other one for east coast. I don’t really know why I picked east. I can just add an hour like I’ve always done, but it’s a shame not to use the extra time zone, since it is a cool feature of the watch that I should take advantage of.
Stace: And …
Hedon: I thought about using something really cool, like setting it for France time, or Japan time, or Russia or whatever. But I couldn’t pick one. I couldn’t decide which would be best — to be driving along and think, “I wonder what time it is Botswana” or “I wonder what time it is in Australia.” So after a few days …
Stace: For god’s sake, just get to it already.
Hedon: Okay okay. Since I couldn’t pick, after a few days I just set it on east coast time, so I wouldn’t waste the feature. There’s this little button on the side of the watch that you push to switch between time zones, and because I have this big stupid old fat wrist, my fat’s always pushing that little button and switching the time zones on me without me knowing.
Hedon (exasperated): So I go to write in my logbook, check the time, and almost put down the wrong time, because of my big fat stupid humongous wrist. Stupid wrist! Stupid watch!
Stace: Ohhh, so that’s why the other night you told me it was 7 o’clock when it was really 6 o’clock.
Stace: No problem. Just change the setting on the second time zone to central time, and you won’t have to worry about it changing on you.
Hedon: I can’t. I don’t remember how to change it.
Stace: Bummer. So this is going to be like that annoying chime that goes off every hour, isn’t it? Never-ending because you don’t know how to make it stop?
Hedon: I can’t believe I’ve hit a point in my life where I can’t even figure out a watch. Stupid watch!
Stace: Did you save the directions that came with it?
Stace: Great! When we get home, you can fix both problems …
Hedon: Oh, I’ve got the instructions. I put them in the camera case.
Stace: Then why the hell have I had to listen to that watch of yours chime in every hour for the past week if you’ve got the damned instructions?
Hedon: They’re in the camera case.
Stace: Yeah, I know that now. You’re acting like they’re strapped on the roof of the trailer back there, and not sitting on a shelf literally within arm’s reach of where you’re sitting.
Hedon grumbles, then: The instructions are diabolical. I can’t figure them out.
Hedon: I’m serious. There are no words! It’s all in pictures. And they make no sense at all. Not a word on there. When did people quit giving instructions in words?!
Hedon: I don’t know how I can be expected to figure it out. You don’t know. You haven’t seen it. It’s just evil. What’s wrong with these people! Stupid instruction pictures!
Stace: So … let me get this straight. You can’t follow the directions to fix your watch because the instructions are just pictures.
Hedon: Oh yeah, sound all superior, but I’m telling you, you haven’t seen them. They’re crazy.
Stace: But you obviously had it figured out at some point, since you managed to set the watch in the first place.
Hedon: I’m not sure about that. I think I may have just been pushing buttons and it happened. Or maybe I was in some kind of uber-picture-reader zone at the time. Whatever, I can’t figure it out now.
Hedon glares down at the watch on her wrist.
Hedon: None of this would be a problem if it weren’t for my stupid fat wrist.
A long silence stretches between them. It lasts a good two minutes. Finally …
Stace: I’m sorry, but I seem to have nothing to say to that. It’s like the absurdity of it has overwhelmed my system or …
Hedon: Brain freeze?
Stace: Something like that. Sorry.
Hedon: That’s okay. Go back to your book.
Stace: I think I will. Thanks.
A few more quiet minutes follow, with Hedon returning to her logbook, and Stace staring vacantly at her Kindle.
Stace: It’s not working. I can’t read.
Stace: It’s like when your brain gets stuck on a song that you don’t know all the words to, so it just loops around and around in your head until you go nuts. That’s what I’m doing right now; it’s just not a song. It’s this whole … picture thing.
Hedon: Don’t worry about it. It’ll go away. Think about how we’re gonna eat BBQ later. That’ll get your mind off it.
Stace mumbles a bit then returns to staring at her book. Hedon writes on her logbook, as her watch chimes 7 p.m.