Off the Main Roads
“Gas, 1940” by Edward Hopper
by Gail Denham

Dusk. Time to close. Out here off the main
roads, our take isn’t a lot, but we’ve gotten
by, for well over five years now. It’s a pretty
good life overall.

Nope. Not much business. Folks are gassing
up in the big town, where gas might be a little
cheaper. Today only two customers, some
farmers from round here, and then the rowdies
around three PM, who bought sodas, chips,
and cigarettes.

At the pumps, they shelled out for a few gallons,
a whole $1.50. Hope they weren’t casing our
place for mischief. Mostly calm here at night, only
coyote packs singing, or gully-washer thunderstorms.

Sheriff stopped by while the noisy group were
piling back in their clunky old farm pickup. Sheriff’s
presence might influence. Few months back,
someone broke in, took milk, bread, and beer. Not
much in the till. Damage was to the back door. Must
be vagrants—many still on the road looking for work.

Anyway, I can’t worry. Mae’s got us a fine supper
going in our quarters next door—smells like roast
and maybe pie. After, we’ll settle in to listen to
Fibber McGee & Molly or Ford Theater, since we
don’t open early tomorrow, being Sunday and all.


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