“Pumping gas should be peaceful,” says the man on the other side.
We’re both bombarded by the actress dressed as a quick store employee
blathering on about the great deals inside, from inside a tiny TV
now attached to the pump, just above the credit card slot, no escape.
There is the option to pay inside, and a hot coffee, stale as the pot may be,
sounds good on a chilly day, too late in May for these temperatures,
but I’m on my way home, and coffee will not be my friend at 3 a.m.
The breeze brings a whiff of someone’s cigarette smoke, and I know
their free spaces are fewer and fewer every day, and despite the signs
(and probably soon too the warning of the tiny TV woman),
they will grab a puff or two while fueling the car, while running from
car to store for a coffee, a hard roll, another pack at premium rates.
The tiny TV woman tries to sell me soda, get me interested in NASCAR,
even tries to lure me in with local weather reports, but I’m too tired
for all her flashy words and pictures. I want to go home, and I want
to be peaceful. I want the lights dim, the food warm, a blanket where
my Beloved should be, and the TV tuned to people of my choice.