A journal of narrative writing.
My Summer as Syphoned Gas

Lines of Ford trucks wrapped gas stations in folds of blue exhaust. Hot tar speckled afternoons, side streets greased with oil puckered under the weight of potholes. Dressed in a red terrycloth romper and dirty sneakers that never stayed tied, I watched my brother park his old pickup in the front yard, prop open the hood with a thick plank of wood. He hunched over, T-shirt full of holes and grease spots, his hands juggling screwdrivers and spare parts. A lit cigarette dangled from the corner of his mouth, close to the sputtering engine. Some days I handed him spare belts and bolts, adjusted the radio to his favorite station so the static stopped crinkling the heat, but that afternoon, I chose instead to follow the neighbor boy to the old cars tucked in behind Tom’s Towing and Parts. Only 10, he already knew how to hotwire his father’s jeep, how to build a bicycle from two wheels and an old handlebar. His mission that summer: to find every bit of fuel left in our small town. He pried open gas caps, slipped in a garden hose, sucked until he drew a few stray drops of gas. Turning away my offer to help, he gripped my chin, glared at my sunburned lips. Even a small cut, he said, will sting.