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The Station
by Brad G. Garber

Oil and gasoline fumes rubber on concrete Check your tires, sir? Playboy calendars fan belts bugs on windshields Standard Oil dipsticks and feeding moths to diving swallows roar of truck engines eating lava beetles candy bars and coffee frozen metal alcohol fluid boiling radiators Get back to work! ’64 Mustang stick shift clutches and compressed air hydraulic lift carburetors chrome mastic wrenches and ballpeen hammers plowing the lot sweat-soaked days and lightning storms ding-ding blue shirts motorcycles Fill’er up with reg’lar? sturdy boots pistons crankshafts patched tires innertubes brake pads sweeping the bay shoveling the sidewalk Yes sir!

IMAGE: Standard station, 1960s.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My wife emailed me the prompt and I just started writing.  I worked at the gas station, starting at age 14, in 1968.  Gas prices were around 21 cents/gallon.  I just let my memories run and put them down on paper.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brad G. Garber has degrees in biology, chemistry, and law.  He writes, paints, draws, photographs, hunts for mushrooms and snakes, and runs around naked in the Great Northwest.  Since 1991, he has published poetry, essays, and weird stuff in such publications as Edge Literary Journal, Pure Slush, On the Rusk Literary Journal, Sugar Mule, Third Wednesday, Barrow Street, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Barzakh Magazine, Five:2:One, Ginosko Journal, Vine Leaves Press, Riverfeet Press, Smoky Blue Literary Magazine, Aji Magazine, and other quality publications. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013.