10 June, 2008

The Fumes, They Take Me Back



I was at my local Maverick petrol station this morning, filling up the ol' Toyota Camry Deluxe with some fuel. Filling the Camry is nice because I only do it every couple of weeks now. When I was driving my Subaru SVX around, I was putting in loads of premium every single week; and gas was around $3 bucks then. When I turned 16, I drove, what I deemed to be, the pimpinest Ford Bronco II around. As much as that car may have sucked and as much as we had to spend on repairs on it, I still adored it. I adored and coddled every single rust spot, paint scratch, rim ding and upholstery stain of that car and I loved it to pieces. I paid to put a matching 5th rim and tire on the back swing gate. I paid Ricky Tavares (sorry for the improper spelling Ricky) $40 for a welding-class-made roof rack, and I paid Andrew Johnson a cool $125 dollars for an Isuzu Trooper brush guard I painstakingly retrofitted to mount to my vehicle. It didn't stop there. I plopped in a 10" MTX sub and amp to "bump" it with my homies. But before long, 10" just wasn't enough, so I spread the word and picked myself up a 15" Kicker Competition sub that honestly ruined my hearing, broke my rear view mirror clean off my windshield and gave me daily headaches until I finally sold the car.
As I look back to those carefree days of loitering at the Conoco station on 1600 North, and "Cruising the 8" down by Movies 8 in Provo until the cops showed up, I keep coming back to one, fond thing... $.98 gas. No seriously, I paid less than $15 to fill my 15 gallon tank in my '87 Ford Bronco II back in the day. Gas was generally more around a buck, but I vividly remember filling up at Conoco once and snagging a 44oz, ice cold beverage for less than $16. Awesome.
All these memories came rushing back to me, and spilled out onto this digital page because I got gas on my left index and middle fingers at Maverick this morning. I've been able to smell it all day, and it took me back to high school when we'd rebuild and tinker with our motorcycles all day Saturday so we (us boys) would have them done in time to cruise around in the evenings and pick up babes (see "failure" in the dictionary.) But I distinctly remember wreaking of gasoline all day and all night for days after working on my bike. Apparently gasoline has taken up a fond and dusty shelf on my bookcase of memories, only to be recalled when I spill it on my hand (or rub it in eye) again. Hopefully my memory will be more selective in the future, leaving out the parts where I ran out of gas on State Street, in the middle of evening traffic, and had to push my "pimpin" Bronco to the side of the road all by myself. Those were the less shining moments of my ruckus youth.