Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Gasoline and tears don't mix

Last Sunday I pulled into Paul’s in Kuna to get some gasoline. A small blue Toyota sat on the other side of the pump, but it was not fueling up. I started my pump, and just stood by, looking around, enjoying the blue sky.

As I look around, I noticed the child in the backseat of the Toytoa. He looked like he was about to cry. His mom sat in the front seat, talking on a cell phone. She appeared to be in her mid-20s, dressed stylishly in a bare midriff and jeans torn at the knee just so, shoulder length blond hair, no wedding ring.

She handed the phone to her 5-6 year old son, and as he talked he began to cry. He handed the phone back to mom, she talked a bit and handed it back. As he talked he started to cry harder, really sobbing, smearing off tears with the back of his hand. The boy’s 3-4 year old sister was watching, staring at him, looking concerned and a bit frightened by the boy’s tears.

About this time the little girl saw me watching, and my fueling was done. I finished up and drove off. Neither mom or the boy ever noticed me. I felt a bit like a voyeur, but it transpired literally right under my nose and it was morbidly fascinating, like a car wreck.

I have been wondering about this little vignette. I think son was probably talking to dad and dad was obviously giving him bad news, maybe that he couldn’t see his son that night or something. The boy’s face showed sadness and heartbreak, not petulance, and looking at him and his scared sister broke my heart.

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