This is a story about a rug.

I was lost in the mountains, hoping to find a friend “in a white pickup truck on the side of the road – you can’t miss us”. Driving through winding roads. Craving the taste of smoke and feeling of certainty.

Our ill-conceived plan never game to fruition, but I did find a rainbow at the end of my 4 hour “adventure” of nail biting and cringing as the gas light creeped up on my dash, alerting me of my imminent death in Middle of Nowhere, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

As “32 miles to empty” slinked itself down to “7 miles to empty” the clouds dissipated and sweet salvation emerged. The sound of the bell as I drove to the side of a pump alerted me to a “CASH ONLY” sign. My saving grace: a station with gas pumps circa 1959 that cost approximately $4.00/gallon.

To my luck the ATM machine inside, with an “Out of Order” sign plastered across it, ate my lifetime supply of karma and spit out a hundred bucks.

While waiting for the cashier to inch her walker across the store to the counter, a pop of red pulled my attention to the left.

There on the sale rack was a crumbled up Aztec rug, sandwiched between an offensively large snow globe and pile of “Rocky Mountain” sweatshirts.

Probably used. Probably smells “lived-in”. Definitely forty bucks. I snatched it up from its perfect existence at a sale table of a gas station somewhere between Colorado and Wyoming and placed it on the counter. Four hours and a pack of American Spirits later it laid perfectly placed beneath my coffee table.

This is the day I purchased a rug at a gas station.


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