The place of our vice and redemption: your BP, Exxon, Mobile, Shell or Get-Go. How can we overcome the vicious dichotomy of our gasaholic lives?
You begin altering your schedule to the dictates of those lines behind the glass on the dashboard. You wait until not another drop of petroleum can be oozed into the fuel line. Nothing can be done. The guage reads "E"--an irreversible occurrence that can only mean one thing: a gas station stop.
When you pull into the deserted drive, suddenly the loneliness of this sad purchase washes over you. Sullenly you pluck the gas cap open and feed in the water of car life, drying up the spring-o-life wallet in the same moment.
Suddenly, amid the low, gasping grunts of the pump, shifters slide into park as SUVs, station wagons, and pick-up trucks circle around. Safety in the circled wagons steps into the 21st century. Like a silent support group, one steady sound rises above the pumps; the communal teeth-gnashing can be heard by dogs.
Just digitized numbers on the pumps read our totals, we hope, although late for work, that the pump is slow. This is just one method of deluding ourselves into thinking that there is some value in our purchase, but all is wrought for naught.
For the faint of heart, a quick swipe of a debit/credit card assuages The Man, but to the brave, a trip inside the station, with additional purchases lingering an arm-stretch away, is the final destination.
No one looks at the price charts any more. To the daily cruiser, the two other gas grades read "exorbitant" and "highway robbery", merely decadent ornamentation on a highway paved with your gold--or more likely--remnants of cheap copper and the 16th president's head, looted from beneath your car's seat.
Thank goodness, you think, while pulling away, that an SUV was parked next to you. Feeling sorry for your crass thought, you reflect on filling up your little four-cylinder. Though you still strain at the realization that yes, you are a gasaholic, and no, there is no cure--you take comfort in the group meets once a week--and two for the really dire cases. Maybe next time you won't steal the pennies from the tray, and yes, you resolve, you will wash your windows with the dirty water to really make the station stop last a while longer to -really- get your money's worth.