Yesterday I pulled an entire shift, my Rookie was off with his family getting some well deserved mental health recuperation. On the 2 o'clock schedy I left the Jar with multiple in the bag the first being a run to 200 Providence Road which is really the 2000 block of 3rd St. Under the 277 Beltway up the rise by the State Credit Union on the right at Kings the cue for gas at the Petro Express began not moving in the gutter. 50 cars lined up in file for what turned out to be 1 high octane pump open, idling, on the phone, windows up again even though the air has been cleaner lately since the temperature has allowed the O3 molecules to dissipate. Our last Code Orange day was Sept 7th, 120 something PPM and yesterday it was prolly under 30. As I slowly rode by the still line passing each effortlessly I noticed the normal human lady with her window down about 15 cars from actually being on the property of the 'Gas' station. She was melting down, hysterical clutching the steering wheel of her car, eyes completely swollen, locked to the front. I looked away quickly realizing that this minute in front of her should be her defining moment that liberates her from all attachment to what brings her to tears in a line of many looking for the fuel, energy crisis for sure. I wanted to tell her to leave the car and walk away, there is no gas in town and west all the way to Sylva NC(Thanks C!), just leave it and walk away.
Later in the day in the buildings chit chat on the elevator related to the liquid not around, nervous eyes behind the bank. Mail dropped at 5:30 and I must ride out to Ultimate in Mathews to replenish my dwindling tube and lube stock. Gray skies, dark already, light rain on my face up 7th which turns to Monroe Rd like 3rd does to Providence. Down the hill, up past Lupie's and then I saw it at Briar Creek on the left. Martial Law. Hired/Contract(Black and White Cars with some crazy looking badge insignia painted on the door) police intermixed with Charlotte's finest municipal cops had the On The Run Gas and Convenience Store Completely surrounded. Lights flashing, bull horns, guns, reflective vests over the real bullet proof ones, tension. Cars were trying to get on the property that had nothing in the ground or air for them to buy and the law had stepped in to protect and serve by not allowing any cars onto the store grounds. Cars did not act as if they knew what to do next, confusion on top of irrational thoughts compounded by not being free. Once again I rolled by with little effort taking it all in.
There is a Silver Lining to this story, I made the side Bar on the Hawley Blog! I noticed earlier in the week that my blog had been added under People We Like But Pretend We Don't So They Don't Ask Us for Favors. I read The Hawley Blog regularly and usually get a laugh, a jolt, brain itch or any other human emotion that it may pull out. The HB is just as funny as Dicky's without all the me, me, me talk and adolescent sexual references. Thanks GJR I will die one day at peace knowing that I'm on your side bar!