Lucky Fellow

Áron Antal

The summer in the Hungarian Plain was as usual: very hot, around 38C. I had just arrived at the field with my MTZ type 81.1 tractor with its trailer. It was an old Soviet one, it had no air conditioning, nor radio or anything amusing. The only way to cool myself down was to open both doors and let the air flow into the cabin, with all the dust from the road, in my nose, in my eyes, on my sweaty, half-naked body, sticking my shoeless foot on the metal gas pedal, which had no covering, so it was pretty hot as well, like the entirely black interior. While I was thinking of next year’s summer, when I would get a better tractor, a John Deere 7230R, I arrived at the field, where two harvesting machines (out of the four) were working, harvesting durum wheat. Four tractors with bigger trailers then mine (whose capacity was only ten tons), were waiting ahead of me, on the other side of the long, narrow field. It felt like being at the doctor’s; there were three hours of waiting before I would finally have a chance to get to the huge, dark green harvesting machines. I stopped the tractor’s engine, switched off the ignition, and put my legs on the dashboard. It was around midday, the sunrays were super strong, no clouds on the sky. I was sitting in the cabin, no trees, not a single one as far as the eyesight reaches, so I had no choice but to stay in the cabin alone. My back was hurting, as this type of tractor has no rear suspension.

As I had no other way to amuse myself, I started thinking about what I should spend my salary on. The harvesting machine was approaching me. Its loud noise, the sound of the huge 12L turbocharged engine, and the sound of the grating metal bars on its table, that terrifying noise, scared some deers out of the wheat, and they started running in my direction. They were so scared they didn’t even care about my tractor; they ran in front of me, closer than I have ever seen a deer before. They were kind of fatty, and I stared at them with hunger in my eyes. The deer and the hunger started up thoughts about a good, tasty, spicy deer stew with noodles and pickle, with a bit of sour cream on top. I imagined that I was sitting in an elegant restaurant, with my girlfriend, about ten years from now. We had a very good red wine, nice music in the background, it was very romantic. She ordered crab cooked in butter, and I ordered deer stew. We spoke a lot and had a great time. When we finished the meal, I stood up, took a small box out of my pocket, and asked for her hand. She cried out loud, “Yes, of course,” hugged and kissed me, and was so happy about the whole thing, so joyful, so beautiful. Then we left the place and walked to my cherry-red 1985 BMW. We sat in the car and started driving home. Its suspension was so soft, the seats so comfortable and the air-conditioning… She started to plan our wedding, while I drove with a great smile on my face. What a successful life I had. I had a beautiful girlfriend, who in a few months would be my wife, a nice car, and overall, a very….

A strong horn blasted through my ears, and I saw that the harvesting machine was standing next to me, ready to fill my trailer. It hurt me. It wasn’t my back, or my ears, but my soul that was hurting the most.

What a nice and pleasureful experience I was having in my mind, when this stupid horn pulled me back to the plain reality, where I had no car, only a few mopeds, and no girlfriend. Our mind is an astonishing place, where we can be anyone we want, I thought, as I put the tractor’s hard transmission into sixth and a half gear and approached the harvesting machine, on that hot summer day when for three hours I had been a lucky guy….