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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