“24 HOUR GAS”

By: Harley Blankenship ’18

Racism, homo-phobia, poor-vs-rich, and physical images of one another, are all factors that hold humanity at a halt.

“WE as People Stand Together on the Same Ground As ONE” – that is what the headlines on ‘FOX NEWS’ should be.

But instead all we hear are stories of a black guy getting shot, white girl being raped by a rich boy, and how all humanity is falling off of a cliff. These news casters pass hints our way that diversity is something we just cannot accept.

Although this is a blunt and bitter truth there are exceptions. Humans who might just make a difference. But you can only catch them at a certain time of night. Eleven PM through three AM are the hours which hold our true heroes.

It is beautiful the luminescent “24 HOUR GAS” sign, the blinding L.E.D lights and the people who roam the isles. The guy in front of me, black, wearing a suit and buying ten lottery tickets. The dude behind me, white, and speaking on the phone to his darling husband ( I know this because when he grabbed a KIT-KAT he asked if ‘Hubby’ wanted something). Man behind him, a truck diver with a huge dip in his mouth but let ‘KIT-KAT guy’ go ahead of him. Cashier full figured beauty that has had a rough day. Me, a 17 year-old lil girl just observing too much as always while ‘Mr. Lottery’ takes his time looking at those tickets.

What a beautiful bunch we are.

We work late, stay out too long, and I classify us as the 11-3AMERS. This time of night seems to create a wind shield wiper effect, wiping all fear of diversity away, like green-gut-gooeing bugs. No cops really paying attention due to donut overdose, no groups of materialistic so-called friends making fun of the physical appearance of those who surround you, it all fades. The sky is clearer and seems to have the same effect on minds. What a time of night…

Not saying those who roam in the day are not heroes. Some are. But not in the way we are. In the light of day somehow it feels as if the sun judges you and it draws attention to your flaws. But the moonlight and neon signs are more accepting of your true identity. Is this how Batman feels?

Moms taking on an extra shift, students staying up late for finals, friends laying in the yard without their parents knowing, dads staying up late waiting for their working daughters to get home, all walks of life, different stories all out. Blessed am I to share this title with these humans.

These are my humans

This is not a post about how to prevent criticism and how to leave any kind of hate behind, but one to admire those who shine the brightest at the darkest hours. This post is to bring attention that peace can be acquired among us all. We can love, live, and stand together. It is possible. And who knows maybe this peace and mind clearing change may come from a 11-3AMER. Maybe someone like me, just out late with my people (they may not know it but they are) buying some ‘BIG RED’ and water at 11:25 PM.

But what do I know?

-Harley Blankenship

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