Day 2: Uneventful drive until I realized I was out of gas

I was on the road by 9 Monday morning and made it to Birmingham, AL by 6:30PM. All I did was sit in a car and set the cruise control; so, I can’t figure out why I am so exhausted. It’s not like I was doing manual labor or anything.

My trip was uneventful. I made a quick stop in Northeast Louisiana to visit my grandmother and grabbed a late lunch of chicken-n-dumplings at Cracker Barrel in Meridian, MS.

I was listening to the audiobook CODE by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs about 20 miles outside of Birmingham when I realized my gas tank was on empty and I had no idea how long it was like that. The Distance to Empty (DTE) feature said eight miles. I wasn’t sure what to do. I have never run out of gas before and I had no clue how far it was to the next gas station. The DTE blinked seven miles then it just started blinking dashes.

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This was pretty much my train of thought at that moment: “Dashes?! What the hell does that mean? Am I running on fumes? Will the truck start to sputter and slowly roll to a stop like in movies? Will my power steering and brakes still work? I’ll turn off the air conditioning to save gas. What if someone hits me from behind? Does running out of gas mess up the engine? I need to get in the slow lane so I can pull over just in case. Could you go any slower 18-wheeler? Get the hell out of my way. I can’t see the signs! Who do I call to bring me gas? Should I try walking to a gas station to get the gas myself? I can’t do that someone might take my stuff. How long will I have to wait in my car before someone can bring me gas? Is running out of gas a 911 call or more of an information call? I wonder what other people do when they run out of gas? What if someone pulls over and offers to help? Should I say no because they could secretly be a serial killer or rapist? Or should I say yes and keep my distance so they can’t reach me? Oh look there’s a sign with a help number on it for stranded drivers. Why does it start with an asterisk? YES! AN EXIT WITH A GAS STATION! Come on truck. Just a little further. WAIT, WHAT THE HELL? WHY ARE THERE BAGS ON ALL THE GAS NOZZLES? NOOOO!! YOU CAN’T BE BROKEN! OHHH, WAIT THERE’S ONE WITHOUT A BAG! GET OUT OF MY WAY OLD LADY THIS ONE IS MINE! I MADE IT!!!! Fill her up!

I’m pretty sure I will be more aware of the gas gauge tomorrow. I may even fill up at every other gas station on my way to Savannah, GA.

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