The Cost of Gasoline

You can tell this is the cheapest gas station in town, cars idle two deep behind the current fortunate filler at each pump. When it’s my turn I exit and swipe my card, select the grade, and squeeze the handle. Numbers spin recklessly before my eyes. Sometimes I do the math, checking the pump’s accuracy at 10 gallons, but usually something else has stolen my attention by then.

A chubby kid jogs back to the car beside me, a huge 4 door, carrying a large soda and a snack. His Grandma waddles back, her hip paining her, probably hoping the treats keep the boy quiet. The driver of the van behind, impatiently puts it in gear, frustrated they took this long to pay for their purchases inside. Grandma lights a cigarette, cracking her window a smidge, before pulling out, just to spite the soccer mom.

My car’s tank is full, the pump clicks off. The truck behind me casually pulls up as I take off. My total sale has risen steadily, I note the amount in my head to text to my husband later. It’s that much less for food.

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