Cleaning windows for batteries


Last Thursday, Tina cooked dinner. On Friday, she planned to meet her aunt and cousin in the suburbs for a shopping day.

We have a slow leak in our car’s back, driver-side tire. “Let me go out and check the tire,” I told Tina. “If it’s low, which it probably is, I’ll run fill it with air and fill the gas tank for your trip tomorrow.”

Tina agreed and gave me one of those big appreciative smack-a-roos right on the kisser.

The closest gas station is at a busy intersection about a mile from our place. Just after I started filling the car, a black woman appeared from the other side of the pump.

She startled me. She had earphones in her ears. I had my iPhone earphones in too, but my iPod wasn’t on.

From a quick once over, she didn’t seem homeless. She was wearing a white blouse and a bikini top underneath. She was flat chested. On bottom, khaki shorts. Flip flops on her feet.

In one hand, she was holding a red MP3 player and a cigarette between two fingers and a cigarette butt about a half-inch long about to drop to the ground. In the other hand, a pack of cigarettes. Around the butt of the cigarette, there was an imprint of red lipstick. Her hair was like Don King’s, only without the frizz. It went straight up, kind of like a wave before cresting.

She started to talk to me. She stopped when she saw that I had earphones in. I said, “I’m not listening to anything. What’s up?”

The woman said, “I hate to ask you this, but I need some money for some batteries. I’ve been kicked out of my house for 24 hours, and I’m just going to go to the park with my music and chill out until I can go back home. Can I wash your windows or something for some money.”

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