In California, we filled your tank, for a while, but then came self-serve and the little booth between the pump aisles where we also sold candy, gum and cigarettes, wiper blades, dip sticks and, unaccountably, those plastic fold-up rain caps, as well as oil cans, gas cans and spouts. 'Grease' is the word
Every morning I had to stack the Vavoline or Penzoil or Quaker State into a pyramid of 10/30 and another pyramid of 10/40. The cans were the size of government-issue beans, and we cracked the metal lids with a beer can opener. I remember loving the color of the oil as I poured it into the funnel, that thick, buttery, golden, transparent, spiraling flow-- utterly delicious looking. Grease on my hands, my forearms, my face, my uniform that wouldn't wash out no matter how much cornstarch or baking soda or bleach or scrubbing with a hard bristle brush. Once it got into the fibers -- enrobing them -- it wouldn't budge.
Read the rest of this story and my poem "Fast Gas (for Richard)" on AOL Jobs.
By the way, Gina Misiroglu of Red Room put me in touch with the AOL people, which is one of the great ways she's bringing traffic to Red Room and getting attention for Red Room's authors.