Jason the tow truck driver has bright pink and green tongue studs and various other piercings about his face, but we share a love for Red Bull, so I run into a convenience store to buy us a couple of cold ones.
He has winched my car onto the flat bed of his truck and, as we drive to the Bridgestone-Firestone store, we chat about panhandlers (we both feel guilty when we refuse to pay out), the economy (you'll never be out of work if you tow vehicles) and deer hunting (we love the venison but hate freezing our asses off in tree stands).
The cab of the truck is littered with coffee cups, cans, damp newspapers, bottles and rags, bits of wires, bolts with mismatching washers, crescent and adjustable wrenches, needle-nose pliers, a CB radio, two cell phone chargers and a strange luminous chew toy that I am afraid to contemplate.
Jason is so good-natured and optimistic that he is the perfect counterweight to me, as I stew over the cost of replacing a 255/40/R18 high performance tire and the bent rim it rode upon
It occurs to me that his job brings him into constant contact with inconvenienced, worried people in much the same way that therapists always see emotionally disheveled patients, and I wonder if that is why he keeps a chew toy close at hand.
In the dark truck, our faces illuminated by the glow of the dashboard dials, we could be any one of a million mismatched couples driving somewhere together with different agendas.