In a quiet space of time

We daydream when we’re driving, right? The radio’s on and sometimes a song draws us in; sometimes the music is just a rhythm in the background of our thoughts. It’s a bit of space in the day when we’re not doing work and chores, attending meetings, handling phone calls.

Then we pull into the gas station, where sun shines off the pumps and the few decorative trees shiver a bit in the light wind. A landscaping truck is pulled beside the air pump; men stand about and talk. A white-haired woman holds her cash card, hesitant before fitting it to the slot. Pumping gas: a few minutes of stillness, a moment to let the world around sink in while there’s nothing else to do.

Except now, when I open my door, I’m blasted with talk. Gas station TVs, commercials talking at me, media overload, loud voices crashing over the vibration of leaves.

I do not like this innovation.

The men who lean against the truck, cross their legs comfortably and laugh with each other. They’re far enough away not to hear. I want to smother the TV; I want to feel the sun instead.

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