It was sweltering hot. We stopped for showers at a gas station in the middle of nowhere in Australia’s Northwest Territory. In the parking lot, there were two pairs of green Martians. They must have been ten feet tall. Despite my discomfort with the heat, I was charmed by the Martians, almost energized by their presence, as I wandered the gray parking lot, waiting for my turn to use a shower. Finally, a shower opened up.
Miraculously, the water pressure managed to encapsulate me, providing respite from the sticky world outside. As I was bombarded by shooting stars, I could hear high-pitched voices and smell vanilla-scented candles. I felt like I was waltzing by myself in the cool comfort, unabashed by the flying saucers whizzing by.
The water slowly lost its speed so that I was left with only a few drips. That meant my coins had run out of time, along with my moment of respite. As I hurried to dress, it was impossible to get dry in the steamy heat. I grimaced at my ineffective towel while cramming it into my backpack. I was as glad to leave the cramped shower stall, as I had been to enter it.
It was time to pick out a snack from the display next to the station’s cash register. The melted chocolate and warm potato chips weren’t appealing, but warm beer would wash them down.
The Martians posed for a photo.
I stepped into the van and we sped away from that gas station with its shower stalls and Martians.
I saw no more flying saucers for the rest of the day. Perhaps they hovered behind the huge boulders.
One of the huge boulders referred to as the Devil’s Marbles
TATTOO—Journeys on My Mind by Tina Marie L. Lamb
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