I catch my reflection in the car window. Sometimes the face staring back surprises me. I couldn’t tell you how I picture myself, but it’s not this guy with the ball cap and goatee pumping gas.

The blonde woman behind the counter is new. In her late fifties, early sixties. While standing in the short line, I wonder for a moment how she got here. She’s alone and a little overwhelmed.

Good to be busy, I say. She smiles and rolls her eyes. Laughs. That’s what the boss says. For a moment we connect. She’s wearing a pin-striped shirt emblazoned with an Ultramar logo, asks if I want a ticket for tonight’s lottery and tells me that milk is on special. She has it down.

I pay for the gas. Notice her take a breath before saying hello to the next person. He nods and hands her his card without a word.


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