I woke with a start. The alarm clock said I was late. Running like a madman, I rushed to get dressed and ran for the door. My car was low on gas. I didn’t have time to stop. I prayed as the needle dip lower and lower, scraping the bottom of the gas tank. Traffic moved, and I pulled into the parking lot on fumes.
I sprinted inside, running to the time clock. My supervisor with the Grand Canyon of scowls dug into his face stared, not saying a word. The corners of his mouth drooped further as the time clock registered that I was technically “on-time”.
Work was work. Nothing good, nothing bad. I monitored the clock waiting for quitting time. I eyed my supervisor, looking for every opportunity to take my unscheduled break.
After work, the boys suggested we meet up at “Kool Hand Luke’s” our local dive bar. I agreed. They pulled out of the parking lot as I hopped into my car and slapped my forehead. I had forgotten about the gas. Crossing my fingers, I headed to the nearest gas station. I pulled next to the pump as my car sputtered, belched and shook. I hit the brake threw her into Park and turned off the engine. She lurched and sputtered twice then was silent.
I dug wadded and wrinkled cash from my pocket and dropped it in my lap. Sixty dollars. Every penny I had until Friday. It took thirty bucks to fill the tank. I smoothed out a ten-dollar bill and five singles stuffed the remaining cash back in my pocket and headed into the station to prepay.
The pump stopped at fifteen bucks and I was on my way. The boys were one drink ahead when I rolled into the bar. I ordered a game-night special bucket of beers to catch up. Our team’s game played on the bar’s tv and Bert sat in the corner, taking bets. I slipped him a five, betting against our team after hearing the odds.
We settled in to watch our team lose. The boys razzed me as I collected my ten bucks, enough to pay my bar bill. We spilled out on the parking lot, joking and jabbing each other and drifted to our cars to head home.
Tired, and ready for bed, I realized too late, I was flying past a cop car parked behind some bushes. He pulled behind me as I checked my speedometer and tried to remember the posted limit. The cop followed me three or four blocks before turning on the gumball machine. I figured I would spend the night in jail. I eased to the shoulder, but he pulled a U-turn and sped off in the opposite direction.
Home, I collapse into bed. Today was a good day, I thought, and I drifted off to sleep.
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer