We were on our way to somewhere. Traveling in a large RV through the countryside, we watched the sun dip below the horizon and the bright greens of summer slowly become shades of black. I looked down to see the gas gauge floating at half-full and I had not seen a gas station for miles.
Not knowing how far we were from where we were going, I turned to dad and said, “I’m going to stop at the next gas station I see to fill up. I’m a little worried about running out of gas.” Dad seemed lost in thought, but he turned to me and the familiar gaze indicated to me he hadn’t understood, or maybe had not heard what I had said.
“I’m going to stop for gas, soon,” I repeated louder. Dad nodded and smiled as if to acknowledge he had heard what I said this time.
A few miles later a white clapboard store appeared on the left. Several cars were on the lot in front and a neon “open” sign pierced the dusk. As I got closer I could see two old gasoline pumps in front of the store under a small canopy just large enough to protect the pumps, and maybe a customer pumping gas, from the day’s weather.
“I’m going to stop here, dad.” Dad just stared ahead and said nothing as I pulled in next to the pumps. I climbed down from the RV, opened the tank cap, pulled the hose off the pump, flipped the pump switch and began refueling.
It was dark now. The one fluorescent blub flickering above the pumps and dim glow from the store window was barely enough light for me to see the gallon markers slowly roll by as I refilled the tank....