By Perla Arellano
Like almost every other college student, I sometimes lack the resources to obtain gasoline for my car. I sometimes wait for the last minute to half-way fill my tank; just enough to get from school to work.
Just a few days before the fall semester started, I found myself in a worrisome situation. I needed gasoline but did not have the money to buy it. I was putting it off, saying to myself, “It will get you through one more day; fill it up tomorrow.”
Tomorrow did come, but the gasoline did not. After work, around 9 or 10 p.m., I left the parking lot at my office and headed off on a 15 to 20-minute drive home.
A few minutes into the drive I heard a beep coming from my car. I looked down at the dashboard of my car and saw that I only had 12 miles until empty. By this time, I was on the highway and had already passed one of the two gas stations on my way home.
Something strange came over me. I became a bit more animated, even more religious, smelling smoke that wasn’t there and feeling bumps that did not exist.
I knew God could do nothing for me. After all it was my lack of responsibility that got me into this mess, not His.
I began talking to the car, thinking up names off the top of my head of what I should call the inanimate object.
Betsy, Rhonda, Pepe?
It was something I had seen in movies, and every time when the actor would plead the car’s name, it would somehow listen. Mine on the other hand did not seem to pay attention to my pleas.
What if I did end up stranded without gas? I would have to call my mom. And my dad was home today, he would surely know too.
I had crashed into a yellow pole once when I was first learning to drive, going ten miles an hour. It left a somewhat noticeable mark on the car.
Years later, I still hear about it. I knew if my parents had to pick me up I would hear about this for years to come as well.
I was getting closer to downtown. I remembered that there was a gas station on 10th Ave. I was on 2nd Ave.
I began hoping a little less and panicking a little more.
Seven, six, five, four.
The numbers kept going down incredibly fast until I got to three miles until empty.
Finally, I arrived at the gas station. Still, even as I pulled in, I knew that the car could just stop.
I parked right next to a pump. As I stood there, hearing the gas fall into the tank of my car, I smiled to myself.
An often symptom of an any unnerving event is finding oneself believing in something a little bit more or doing things one might not usually do. Even willingly falling into the silk spun web trap of promising oneself never to fall into that situation again.