Propane Tank

Rain and sleet fell and whipped the parking lot of a big box pet supply store smack dab in the middle of a vast strip mall. I sat in my car with Elmer the husky in the back seat. It was just after nine in the morning.

I exited the car and walked toward the store. To my right, I saw an older woman coming my direction. She was wheeling/pushing a large propane tank in some kind of improvised contraption that originally had served to convey luggage or babies.

Leashed to the contraption was a small dog wearing a sweater. The woman wore a dirty bathrobe over a coat. She had somewhat of a smile on her face. She talked to the dog, although I didn’t catch any of it.

I stopped and watched them as they passed me from 20 yards away.

They were headed for an RV. How did I know? I’m an expert on these matters by now, perhaps the country’s number one self-appointed expert on RV survival in the New American Diaspora. I’m considering writing a book about it.

But, who would read such a book?

I scanned the parking lot for derelict RVs and saw several in the distance. She was probably headed toward one of them. Obviously the rig was mobile since it landed in the parking lot. I wondered about its model name, because I am fascinated by the names of RVs from the 70s, 80s and 90s. I am also fascinated by how people acquire these derelict RVS. No one seems interested in this subject but me. That would be part of the RV book.

I imagined the woman hooking up the tank in the rain and sleet and then going inside her domicile and firing up the heater. Maybe she would cook a hot meal. Did the rig have enough gasoline to leave? Where would should go if it did?

For a brief moment, I considered following the woman and the dog and learn more. But I had a new dog in the car and supplies to buy.