There’s a new gas station attendant on Western Avenue. He’s a nice enough guy. Friendly and efficient. He wears a baseball cap and has a nice open face. The first time he filled my tank and announced the total, he surprised me with a riff about god. Actually he handed me a piece of hard candy which he said was in keeping with his promise to god. If someone does something nice for me, I promised god to do something nice in return. I had given him a four dollar tip which was little compensation for him standing in subzero temperatures while I sat in my toasty warm car. I am grateful.
Mentioning god during our short interaction was unnerving. And it wasn’t a fluke. Every time he fills my tank, I am handed a piece of hard candy embellished with god comments. One good deed deserves a good deed from god. I will pray for you tonight. I am worn out by the general concept of religion. The Catholic Church refusing to take full responsibility for decades, probably centuries, of child sexual abuse. The born-again Christian churches infusing their constricted values into our political system and causing an already corrupted system to wobble into chaos. The Muslim church inspiring woman-hatred. That’s not even taking into consideration the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. All in the name of god. What would Jesus say? Stay out of church. Be careful how you quote god.
The gas station attendant means no harm. He is oblivious to any thought that his conversation might be offensive. He makes me miss my favorite attendant who was twenty-something, complained about the general failings of our world and made me smile when he talked about his guitar. I like to woo the ladies with my base chords. What happened to my guy? By the way, the glove compartment is filled with a growing collection of hard candy.