Long Haul 1983 is a solo game about a long haul truck driver traveling through a suddenly empty world pursued by a mysterious threat. You're supposed to play through voice recordings, leaving daily answering machine messages to someone very important to you who never picks up, but I'm going to do it through postcards (will update content warnings as necessary as the journey gets more dangerous).
You know I was always better written down.
Light bulbs this time. Boxes and boxes of them, took turns real slow. They give you ugly looks like you step on glass for fun but I'm good at what I do. Got there real early, in the dark, and a man took out a bulb and screwed it in to test I guess and it was just him and me lit up like we were the only people in the world and I thought about me and you in the attic when we were the only people in the world and when I woke up this morning I think I may be the only person in this world. Every place empty, every place covered in that sort of wall of fog you get coming off the coast. Maybe when the man turned the light off he turned the world off with it. Peach. I’m gonna drive to you. Pumps still work, trucks in better shape than I am. There’s dogs, and me, and I know, in my bones and thoughts and heart, that there is you. Otherwise what the hell else would I even do.
I’ll see you.
I am still yours.
Got a stack of these. I’ll keep writing.
DAY TWO (alcohol mention)
First time I ever drank was that beer you stole from Danny’s picnic. I lied when I said I drank my dad’s-
Shit what was it.. Did he drink Falstaff?
Forgive me, I was trying to impress you. It was bitter more than sour but I got that feeling in my jaw like I bit a lemon, that tingle-ache like there’s static in the bone. I think I kept a pretty straight face. You smiled at me, anyway. Last night I dragged my mattress to the cargo space and shut myself in to sleep. The cab felt I dunno I worried someone would look in and see me. When I woke up my jaw felt like that, like the beer or lemons. All day, electricity teeth. I wondered if there was a storm coming but the fog just kept getting thicker til I couldn’t see a foot ahead. Parked in the road, frozen in my seat. Should I get off the road? What if someone came and hit me? What if no one ever came again? A man’s own breathing can be mighty loud when there’s no other sound in the goddamn world.
You and me didn’t kiss til later but I passed you the bottle and watched you raise it to your mouth.
Peach, do you remember the Brady's dog? Meanest fucking thing. I don't know that you could call the sounds it made barking. I had that bike with the always half flat tire but I could sure get it to fly to get away from that thing's screaming, almost human, words right under the surface. I'm in the Rockies and the wind howls like a dog too, truck shakes with it. I don't know
Cb turned on and the sounds got me thinking about that dog. I don't know.
Didn't sleep much.
I was back from a haul and we went up to Sacandaga lake and it was a 4 hour drive and you asked me what kind of man wants to be on the road for a living. I'm by a lake again now, somewhere in Nebraska, and I'm thinking, as I often do, about the way I shrugged at the question. A short, quick movement of the shoulders, a dismissal. And I'm thinking, as I so often do, Peach, of how I said "I like being alone," and of how I saw in your eyes that you took that to mean "without you," and how I let you think that. I wish I had a stronger spine. I wish I had explained myself, not gotten tongue tied, not let my words stay in my head safe and lonely. I find it easier to retreat. A trait you have noted.
Well I'm alone now. [Words wiped away, but still legible: Are you satisfied] Went through a toll booth today and I thought good riddance and then I got struck so lonely by the lack of all the other people as annoyed to be stuck in line as I am that I got out of my truck and left an apple and a can of tuna in the booth. Maybe someone will need it. A more useful toll.