People watching is the best show on earth...

Aug 8, 2007

$6.00

. Aug 8, 2007

Views


This morning I eavesdropped on a moment that has stayed with me all day. It didn't even involve any words. I am at the Chevron station filling up my mid-sized SUV, watching the dollar amount go up, up, upwards of $50. A young woman exits the gas station's convenience mart. She is white, thin, with straight light brown hair in a pony tail. She wears a faded blue t-shirt with a rainbow decal, jean shorts and black flip flops that look too big. She looks straight ahead, very focused.

She puts the nozzle in the car behind me, a burgundy Ford AstroVan with lots of battle scars and no hub caps. While the pump dispenses, she retrieves a big bag of trash from inside the car and empties it into the station's receptacle. Click. The nozzle taps off. She struggles with removing it for a minute and wipes her cheek. She is crying.

She removes what seems like 50 paper towels from the dispenser, puts them in the van, closes the door and sighs. She wipes tears from both cheeks and heads back to the cashier. She comes out and goes around to the restroom, disappearing inside.

I glance in the trash can, there are chip bags, diet coke cans, papers and some used diapers. I look at her pump gauge. It reads $6.00.

24 Whispers:

CrazyKinux said...

Touched...

Lynn Emery said...

That's moving. The great start to a short story I'm thinking. One of those literary types that appear in magazines.

I see her as trying to deal with a husband out of work who has lost hope. Or maybe she's living in her van, working as a waitress. So many scenes come to mind.

Awesome kick to my creativity!

MS said...

That's a tough story. Makes me wonder if she's living in the van too. Or will be soon?

Vienne said...

Yes, it kept me melancholy all day. I felt like she could hear her mother saying, "I told you so". And the humiliation of going inside to pay the $6.00 was palpable.

Bob Johnson said...

It makes me more appreciative of what I have.

Shazz said...

I wish one could find out more, lend her a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listern to. If only she knew so many strangers care.

cbenc12 said...

OH my..

Aura said...

Love your blog, this story was so touching.

~Deb said...

God... What people go through and their struggles. Sometimes we just don't realize how lucky we are, and at times, we find ourselves in that very situation... My heart hurt reading this.

I definitely have to link you- so glad I found this blog.

Vienne said...

Hello viewers. Thanks for you thoughtful comments. It's heartwarming to see I'm not the only one so affected by this woman's hardship. I'm still wondering how she's managing, days later.

Robert said...

Incredible posts!!!!
I love the way you share your observations....
beautifully done!
You've managed to capture a moment in life!
Thank you.

sfgirl said...

Yes, very well described and a touching post. If I'd seen that it would linger with me too...Sadness and hardship unresolved is one of the worst things to observe and do nothing about. We feel helpless and yet we know it's not our place. Those images may certainly end up in a fictive piece and when they do, they will surge with the power of the emotion they carry.

Ross12345 said...

Moving Story....

www.rosshetherington.com

Anna said...

I find myself almost crying when I read this, and I don't even know why - yet. You are good.

Amritbir Kaur said...

A very poignant story! It's good you shared it with your readers. That tells the story of her life in just a paragraph.

Pisces Iscariot said...

Excellent - clean style and to the point - love it.

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

This is my first visit to you blog, and I am so moved. Thanks for sharing this touching, haunting story.

Michelle said...

Its very touching that you actually noticed her sadness, many people wouldn't.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

What a marvelous post and supersonic blog you have!!! I'll visit often. :D

Wild wave!!!
JJ

Anonymous said...

that was the saddest thing Ive read all morning. Im not sure why though.

Zawadi said...

I know what this woman is going through.
No matter how little I have I cannot say "No" when I see someone who needs something. I had some pocket change and gave it to a Teen Program, I normally give a few Bucks when I walk out the store,when they come around, but I didn't have it a week ago and they accepted my pocket change, and smiled and said "thanks". I wished to give more, but I just didn't have it.

Ilka said...

I love your blog. Need to find out how to bookmark it. I'm new to all this ;o)

Very touching story. I wish I could have been there to lend a hug. But then again, you don't want to intrude in people's life also. Unfortunately, there is a LOT of that going on these days. Times are tough!

Aaron Cook said...

Hi Vienne. This is my first visit to your blog...and as I scrolled down the page to get a quick idea of what's here, this is the first post I read.

Not much to say except that it really brought tears to my eyes. No wonder that moment stayed with you all day. The thoughts of it alone will be with me for a while. It so pains me to see people struggling so. Hopefully things have gotten better for her.

Shine on,
Aaron

Vienne said...

Hello Aaron, thanks for reading. I'm amazed you scrolled down to this post. It's my favorite because the moment affected me so much emotionally. I still wonder about her and what will become of this young girl who looked worn beyond her years.

 

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