Last night I drove home and went to the gas station with the cheapy gas. It was filled with loud cars and I was separated from the station attendant by several inches of bullet-proof lucite. It was a box with two doors. The attendant opened the door ONLY after the customer closed their door.
I was wary of these conditions.
The gentleman in line in front of me answered the question I had in my head. He was sporting a long white t-shirt and jeans and speaking to a woman companion who had asked why the store door was closed before 9 pm. He responded that people were hella scared in Oakland in an ironic tone, sorta rolling his eyes at the gas station attendant. They were both Black and the station attendant was a very timid Asian woman whose first language did not appear to be English.
I asked for $2.50 on pump number 2. I returned to my car and realized I was at pump number 5 only after I tried to pump the gas and the pump wasn't working.
I returned to the window and the attendant at the Park Street ARCO station at 9pm last night indicated that someone pumped my gas and that I would have to pay for it again if I wanted to get gas. She then pointed to the handwritten sign saying that if you give the wrong pump number and someone else pumps your gas, it's your responsibility.
I could NOT believe it.
I was INCENSED. I had ONLY $2.50 to put gas in my car, which isn't even a GALLON, so it's not like I am BALLING on any level. I couldn't believe that I was in a place where there was SO little in the way of customer service. It made me mad that there are communities where suspicion trumps customer service, where the customer is made to feel like a criminal EVEN BEFORE MAKING THEIR PURCHASE.
I was UPSET because I was out $2.50 and whomever pumped my gas must have needed it more than I. I drove home on my fumes and wondered how many yogurt containers I could cash in the morning in order to get $3.00 of gas in my car to cross the bridge and have bridge toll money.
I got home and was in a HUFF! I checked my mail and my father's weekly envelope with $3.00 was there. Thank goodness.
As I stewed and sauteed some cabbage in sesame oil for a simple meal I thought about how disappointed I can be in humanity.
I spoke with Lara about it and life in general and in her infinite wisdom she made me feel much better. Yay.
I then decided to eat.
After munching on my cabbage I picked up the yarn and needles again. I undid my first piece and after talking with Megan on Saturday, I remembered to make BIG stitches. So I did. I remembered the casting on, and I made several rows of the first stitch (knitting). Then I turned the page in the book and looked at the illustration of the purling. It's like a reverse knit.
Hrm...and I s-l-o-w-l-y recreated the illustration. The loop came off correctly and I continued...and a row was made. So then I had TWO stitches...knitting and purling, and I noticed my rows of loose stiches were coming together in a nice pattern. Nestled in my bed I felt so satisfied. My eyelids became heavy, and though I tried to finish reading more of By the River Piedra, I couldn't. I turned on the BBC to listen to stories about the Pakistani protests of the killing of a tribal leader in the northern region of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan...and fell asleep.