Friday, December 4, 2009

Grace and Mercy- A Gas Pump Story

Don't be like me. I cannot multi-task anymore. Honesty, my husband told me. My sister told me to slow down. My mother is praying for me. Some things (I'm convinced) only happen to Sherryle like detaching the hose and nozzle of a gas pump.

Did I not just tell you in this blog that things for me are harried and I have a complex. Well every waking hour I am doing three things as usual. I stop to get myself gas because recently I had to cipher gas from the school's building supervisor, but that's another story. A brotha admonished me about talking on the phone at the pump. But, I was trying to call my friend to see just who was coming to my book release. I keep the pump running while I go into the convenience store. My mind is just going. I am calculating every misstep and planning do overs in my head. So as I leave the convenience store I pull off.

Nozzle and all go with me. I hear the tarring sound, but I remain calm. When I peeped that I had cole ripped the pump off I keep going cause embarrassment is catching up with me fast. I go to the corner slinging the nozzle and bust a u-turn. My plan is to dip in my neighborhood and ditch the pump. I'm having an outer body experience. I rip the offending nozzle from my tank like a murderer would his victim. I'm praying to God to have mercy cause no one can be that busy and no one should be that distracted. Embarrassment is riding shotgun as guilt is on my heels, cause I am gunning it away from the scene of the crime.

I stop. I am in my neighborhood for God's sake. I stop - for God's sake. He hasn't raised me like that. I open my trunk now like a mob boss and dump the nuzzle and house in my trunk like I don't want to be recognized for the crimes I have just committed. I am like that lady in the Ikea commercial that thought she had gotten away with being undercharged, screaming, Start the car...start the car to her husband. Except I can never tell my husband. My husband would never understand how I am riding around with a nozzle and hose in the trunk.

I'm still planning my day though : go to school, get off early to go to a meeting at my son's school, return pump to gas station, bring my son and his nurse home, go get my daughter from school, feed her and go to her Christmas concert. Yeah, that'll work.
Luckily, I find my firiend at home and she talks me off the ledge. "Sherryle, turn around now and return that bleepity bleep gas pump. I'm sure she wanted to say. I think about it. It's going to put a serious monkey wrench in the start of my day. But isn't ripping a gas pump off its hinges a proverbial wrench in and of itself. So I bust a u-turn for the second time and call my job to tell them I am going to be late

A Korean man comes from the convenience store as I pull up. He's on his cell phone and he's walking over to pump eleven. He's bewildered. He's looking at the where the hose and nozzle that I housed in my car used to be. I approach and tell him I did it. I practically have my hands behind my back. He tells who has to be his boss what I'm sure could be translated as, "the crazy lady has returned."

I am in tears and explaining everything about my morning besides what I had to eat. I am explaining how I come to be so harried. He does not want to hear my truth, just,"the pump, where is the pump?" I take him to my trunk and let him see my hostage. He grabs it quick from the vechile like I was returning his loved one for ransom. My payment is his advice. "Next time you stop because...." What was said after that because could have meant the end of me. You probably could imagine gas dripping and sparks flying as a consequence of dragging a hose and nozzle. What he said after because was inconsequential but for the Grace of God. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. Apparently it follows after anything I should happen to string along as well.

Feel free to repost wit th following tag as a cautionary tale.
Sherryle Jackson is the author of Soon and Very Soon and The Manual (Urban Christian/Kensington). Her blog Capitol M (Mom) Capitol T (Teacher) is designed to help busy moms make enroads with their children while making time for themselves. For more information visit or

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