Whispering Gas Tank



(Illustration: Charles Weiss)

On the first sunny day of May, I wanted to hit the road on my cruiser motorcycle. In my haste to twist the throttle and hear the crackling exhaust pipes, I overlooked the amount of gas in the tank.  

I raced past my local independent gas station and was turning around the curve of the road along the river within sight of  Sunset Point Park and suddenly the motor sound faded. No! I had been looking forward to a morning of zooming along Highway 331!

As I rolled to a stop on a tiny roadside curb, a voice was quietly and urgently – in my head, the voice was coming from the gas tank – telling me, with profanities, naturally, to switch over to the reserve gas tank.

Whispering repeatedly, “follow the litre,” the gas tank looked empty after I raised the cap. I took my helmet off and started pushing my bike along the thin edge of the road towards the distant gas station.

A charitable fellow driving a pick up truck slowed to a stop beside me and mentioned, “You know there’s a gas station up ahead.” “Yeah, I know,” I quietly replied. 

“I got a gas can in the back, I’ll go and get some for you,” he brightly said. 

I replied with gratitude and relief, “Thanks, man, regular gas will be fine.” He drove off on his helpful mission.

I continued walking and pushing. The truck driver returned. 

Thanking this generous truck driver, I poured the gas in the tank and offered to pay for the gas.  He refused my money and said I should just pay it forward and help another biker. 

Charles Weiss is an artist and writer living for the past few years in Pleasantville. He is originally from Southern Ontario where he illustated and wrote editorial stories for newspapers and magazines including the Toronto Star and Real Fishing magazine. He regularly exhibits his paintings and sculptures in Lunenburg Art Gallery.


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