Anything Is Possible At A Rez Gas Bar
Holeh Slaxts! Where I been?! Where you been??! I have never been so busy in my life and I miss you all! I'm in my final term of my MFA, have had 4 workshops for my theatre and digital stories and now I head into April where I have 5 major applications due and a thesis defence. But I wanted to share with you a small fun creative writing piece that I hope gives you a smile.
Take care of your spirits, I send you and your family's safety and love and remember don't let the imperialists get ya down!
For one of my classes we were asked to write a piece about something being removed from our memory: here is my futuristic spec fiction.
I see toxic orange stains on my fingertips. The marks echo of gas stations, podcasts and oddly enough - fun. I was never a smoker so it can’t be reflections of anxious tar stained afflictions. I try to grasp and pick up items that make me use those particular fingers. Small, the items must have been small, curved, breakable. Hmm. Maybe even combustible.
I keep thinking over and over what was lost? What did they mean to us? This feels addictive. My curiosity unsatiated propels me tho. My mouth is dry.
I head to the rez gas bar. I think it's blood memory that leads me there, also Bepsi. These petrol’s are places of communion. Much cultural progressions come to pass here. Respected community members harvest freezer feasts, contemporary clans prophesize 649 fantasies and Etsu’s snuff out oj bottle tobacco spittoons.
An Elder once told me that “anything is possible at a rez gas bar.” This teaching preceded her mailing out her divorce papers. She was sending them all the up the grease trail to her ex-Husband in Fort Babine. She dropped that package in the red post box, smacked the metal top and hollered out “Buh bye you good for nothing Babine man baby!”
“Anything is possible at a rez gas bar” I hold this teaching deep in my heart. But can anything be found? I open the broken portal door that swings back and smokes 2 outta 3 people in the face and nod at the attendant who's deep into a traditional game of solitaire.
I glance at the sacred unopened DVD’s of Smoke Signals, pass the dusty maps that no respectable NDN would ever touch and then I see something. Out of the corner of my eye I see something. The light musta caught it just right and I speed walk to the retired/never worked slushie machine and squeeze my arm in the counter crack and pull out the tradish artifact. It reads, “HAWKINS: CHEEZIES.”
And in that instance I scream out to the cosmos, “Sechanalyagh Ancestors!!! Sechanalyagh for helping me, for leading me to remember!” Cheezies, how could we have forgotten Hawkins Cheezies. I ask Jimmy Boy at the cash counter how much for the ghost snack and he mumbles, “I dohn’t eeeeven kno wut the chit that is just take it.” And I do. Like a white man and land I take it.
I walk out and carefully open the bag, grab one of the toxic orange puffs and the ocherous dust attaches to my fingers and I immediately start to cry. Cheezus how could I have forgotten this?
P.s I think rez gas bars are a portal into the heart of humanity. Also this piece will be expanded and go into my first book, Interiors: Love Stories from a Salish Plateau Dirtbag.