Jeremy’s sits alone. There are no signs letting you know of its existence. You will miss it unless you turn to see what the building looks like under the tall empty sign. I noticed because I was on the road less traveled.
Jeremy’s was a welcome oasis, even in its state. I do not think any of the gasoline pumps were working. Two of the four were forlorn victims of a late night rage long forgotten. The faded sign on the wall said that Jeremy’s was a tire service center. The only tires I could see were a collection of unmatched used ones on a broken rack. I pulled near the building in an attempt to park in the only shade in sight. Everything in all directions was eerily still.
As I took my Gatorade to the counter, an alert six-year old girl eyed me suspiciously.
“Someone will be here shortly.”
She waited a moment, checking me out from top to bottom, and then from the bottom back to the top. It took me a moment to realize that I was a grimy faced, gray haired, guy in a leather jacket and boots. After a long pause, she turned and went through the curtain. She returned, pulling her mother.
Without a word, she turned to the cash register and punched in $2.25. Looking up at her mother, her eyes shaped the question.
I handed her a ten-dollar bill.
Reaching into the cash drawer, she pulled out a five-dollar bill.
Looking at her mother and then at me, she said, “Uno?”
Looking at me, her eyes asked the same question.
The process repeated itself with one-dollar bills. Pulling out the required bills, she said “Dos?”
Looking at me, her eyes asked again.
Even with the quarters the now familiar routine emerged. Taking three, she said, “Tres?”
I did not wait. “Tres.”
She looked at me with innocent intensity. “Thank-you.”
I smiled. “Gracias.”
“Paul left the ship briefly to go to the meeting place and preach to the Jews.” (Acts 18.20)