a k 2 8 . d i a r y l a n d . c o m

gas money // 2002-06-24


used to be every time we'd take a road trip, we'd all chip in for gas. i was thinking this weekend, while flattened in the back of dave's truck on the way back from olympia, how this doesn't happen much any more. weird considering we're all better off now than then.

i brought in this sweet memory of that welfare summer with bill. seacoast new hampshire, circa 1989. neither of us worked, but bill would throw these amazing greek-language fits and we'd get access to his dad's car. we drove ELLAS1 (translation: Greece #1) everywhere. boston, portland, montreal, new york city and the ocean.

i had saved enough money from my awful greenhouse job to allow myself something like $10 a day for those 12 weeks, which at age 16 was a total luxury. (i also had a perm, but we won't talk about that.) most of the time, we blew some money before we got to our destination, because we were hooked on root beer and those rubber monster finger puppets that rule to this day. plus, ELLAS1 was equipped with an 8-track, and we happened to live close to this stupefyingly cool swap shop that sold the tapes. johnny cash and richard pryor; we couldn't stop. we also had an abundance of greek music, which we laughed at at the time but grew to love by college.

no matter what, though, that $10 was for gas. our system was: bill threw tantrums to score the car, i paid for gas. that was that. and that was glorious.

the best part was never knowing whether georgia, bill's mysterious grandmother, was secretly funding our adventures by hiding money in the car. i'm pretty sure of it, because while looking for change, sometimes something we thought was Washington was Aristotle instead.

the memory kept me going on the ugly (because mt. rainier was hiding) stretch of highway between tacoma and seattle. when we rolled up to the gas station, i tried to stealth $5 into dave's shorts. to do so, i spanked him and called him Aristotle. he didn't notice the money until he went for his wallet.

he looked puzzled, but then maybe he got it. i think. i'm only half-wondering.

note: you can get from portsmouth, new hampshire to new york city with a full tank of gas and an extra $10.

 ecce & homo