“I think we should start praying.”
Boy, is that something you don’t want to wake up to.
My eyes flew open. I’d only closed them for a second. I looked around for a burning church or a jack-knifed 18-wheeler.
“What’s going on?” I said.
“My gas light just came on,” Martha said. “And we’re twenty miles outside of Big Spring.”
Twenty miles from a gas station, in other words. I knew we should have gassed up in Lamesa when the tank was still a quarter full. But oh, no. Martha said we were all right to make it to Big Spring, because she’s driven on fumes before and it was just fine. This from the woman who gets her oil changed every three months on the dot and whose trunk was crammed full with a real full-sized spare tire instead of a donut and who carefully planned this route to San Antonio through every small town in the state to eliminate a Texas Chainsaw Massacre scenario.
I’m all for a little adventure a la Thelma & Louise but two grown-ass women running out of gas on the way to San Antonio and the Romance Writers of America conference was not how I wanted to play this out.
It got real quiet in that car. Martha was praying and I was reciting Louise Hay’s “all is well the universe is taking care of me” mantra like I had a broken record inside my head.
When we headed over that bridge into Big Spring, flying past the reduced speed limit sign, Martha was like “F**k that. I ain’t stopping and I ain’t slowing down. Come on, Chevron station. Come to Mama!”
The Chevron sign came into view and we were like “hallelujah.” Literally. Like for real. “Hallelujah, baby” as we rolled up to the open gas pump.
I’m sure people were wondering why we tumbled out of the car, laughing hysterically.
Martha said, “No more of that. From now on, we are never going below a quarter tank again.”
“Yeah, I think the risk-taking portion of this trip is over,” I said. After all, I had a book to pitch.