I have an intimate relationship with a gas station.
It provides, daily, at least one drink with the possibility of a delicious candy treat. Some days, like today, it provides whole meals in the form of a blueberry muffin and orange juice. This relationship I have is not with the staff as, despite daily visits for the past 6 months, I haven’t had more than a passing “heh” with the man behind the counter. My affair is with the station itself and we love one another. Or, more correctly, I depend on her.
She is a harsh mistress, however, and not entirely unlike humanity’s tenuous natural resources. When I eat her SweetTarts into extinction, they stay gone, never to return. When I get used to the idea of her sweet low-calorie Pepsi One, she takes it away with nary a glance. Not that I can blame her for her cruelty… I have hurt her as well.
My gas station, I realize in my heart, is a gas station; yet, I have never bought fuel there. I use her in ways that she’s not meant to be used, and it offends and scares her. She feels under-utilized. She feels taken advantage of. She feels inadequate with your cursed Taco Bells and Yoshinoyas laughing at her from across the street.
I treat her like a prostitute I go to to talk about politics.
Yet somehow we carry on, revealing a lesson for the world: love will find a way.