Day 168 of 200: How We Learned in the Time Before Google

Total gas station used to be on the corner of First Avenue and Atwood in Shakopee. The house my parents’ rented was right across the street. I worked the 3-11 shift most nights in 1996 and 1997. I hated the job because I thought I was too good for it. Yes, I was an insufferable jackass as a twenty-something. Thank you for noticing.

My coworkers and I didn’t have a lot in common, well except for Sister #2, who also worked there, but never with me.

Angie was a mean girl with bad skin, bleached-blonde hair who tight-rolled her pants and drove a purple Corvette. She had her own tanning bed in the trailer she shared with her, allegedly, abusive boyfriend. Shari was an eighteen-year-old who looked like Alanis Morissette and struggled a lot. In the year I knew her she had two abortions and gave birth to a super-preemie who died after a few days.

One day as Shari was counting out and I was counting in, “Santeria” came on the radio.

“Did you know that Santeria is like a real religion?”
“Really? How do you know that?” I asked.
“I saw it on Pop-Up videos.”
“Huh,” I said. “I had no idea.”

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