In Passing

Walking into the gas station I see nothing new. The same old everything. I grab the oil, stand in front of the cooler for a moment trying to decide what to drink. I remember there’s something in the fridge at home and turn. Ice cream, that’s what I don’t have.

Ice cream, oil, and why not, a Dr. Pepper. I go up to pay. Twenty left. Twenty and a few ones. That’s it for now. Got to make it last til, til when? Two weeks, I think.

“Ten sixty-eight.”

“Here, twenty-one.”

I take a bag and get ready to go. It’d been a long day. I hadn’t worked in retail for a number of years, and closing at eleven or later was taking its toll.

“Have a good night.” The attendant is friendly enough.

“You, too. Enjoy the night.” I pause to think. “I used to have this job, eleven years ago.”

“Me, too. I got laid off recently. From painting.” He has a look of anger and contempt.

“I’ve been out of work all summer. Just started again last month.” I walk back to my car. I drive home and go to bed. I’m too tired to do anything productive. I’ll start job hunting again in the morning.

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