Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I did a bad thing a year or so ago.

I watched "Duel."

Stepping back for a moment, I am a person who has issues with horror or suspense movies. It's not that I'm scared. Actually, if I watch one, I usually enjoy it. It's just that sometimes the disturbing characters and images contained within those films kind of stick with me, and, say, pop into my mind as I head into the dark basement.

So, "Duel."

Screenshot of the truck from "Duel" (image from Wikipedia)

I had heard of the movie before. Released in 1971, it was Steven Spielberg's first feature film. The basic premise is a man driving on a remote stretch of highway in the Desert Southwest gets into an ongoing brouhaha with an ominous, unseen tanker-truck driver (you see the truck, not the driver). The unseen truck driver keeps trying to kill him.

I caught it while flipping through channels, and proceeded to watch the whole movie. It was a good thriller. But then tonight, as I was driving home from work, it came back to me.

I was about to turn up Mesaba Avenue when a plain, unmarked semi came barreling up the boulevard. It was kind of jarring, because you don't often see full-size semis tearing up Mesaba, and because it was 1 a.m.

The truck had to stop at the next light, and I passed it in the left lane after the light turned green. I saw it in the rear-view mirror - anonymous, big... and "Duel" popped into my mind.

I found myself driving kind of fast, and actually felt a bit of relief when I made it through the light at Mesaba and Central Entrance - and watched it turn red before that truck could get through. I was safe... from what, I'm not quite sure.

1 comment:

Barrett said...

I once saw the Libyan terrorists from Back to the Future peeling out in a VW van in the Spirit Valley Mall parking lot.