I pulled into the gas mart and stopped next to pump #3. As soon as I turned the key to shut the engine off, my replacement cell phone rang. It was my buddy, the guy who co-fronts the band with me, and I was so happy to hear from him coz my phone was working perfectly meaning we would have a few minutes of pleasant, uninterrupted by technical problems, conversation.
And those pleasant minutes, of course, turned into twenty and then thirty. I forgot all about why I stopped in the first place and, it wasn’t till the monster truck pulled behind me, flashed its high beams and honked its horn that I realized I was still parked by the gas pump, though I hadn’t pumped one drop of petrol.
I waved, “Sorry, my bad, Mister M. T.” The driver of the truck rolled down his window and hollered at me but I had already pulled from the octane island into a parking space.
The truck driver was still yelling at me but I payed him no mind coz I had to finish my conversation with my band buddy.
By the time I said goodbye, my Monster Truck Critic had left and I was free to return to #3 gas pump.
But, before I could crank my car and back out of my parking spot, a young man in a wife beater knocked on my window. I opened the door an inch so I could be heard when I asked, “What’s up?”
“Yo, dog,” he said. “Excuse me, I shouldn’t’ve called you dog but…”
“I’m from Orange Beach and I had just enough gas to make it here for court now I’m lookin for enough gas money to maneuver my way ba…”
“I’ve got some change and a 5 spot. You can have the coin but I’m using the bill for my tank.”
I dug into one of my pockets and pulled out what looked to be 2 dollars in pennies, nickels, dimes and a couple of quarters.
“If you’re really trying to get to Orange Beach, you’re a long ways from enough.”
“True,” he said. “But, now I have a start.”
I turned the key, started my car and, for a change of scenery, pulled up to pump #2.
I got out my car and walked toward the store. I entered, stepped up to the cashier, presented my sawbuck and said, “3 dollars on pump 2.”
I took the change, walked out the door and up to the young man. I said, “Here you go. A couple of bucks more for your goal.”
He took the money and said, “Gettin there penny by penny. Thank you, sir. You’ve done a good thing.”
I walked back to my car and pumped 3 dollars gas.
I returned the nozzle to its proper spot on the pump. Then, I opened the door on the driver’s side and, just before I climbed. In, I tapped the pocket that held my wallet.
That held my 10 bucks for tomorrow.