Sunday, December 11, 2011


Arco Station. West Grand. Oakland.
DAVE parks steps out of his car. Pulls out his wallet, takes out his credit card and inserts it in the machine. KEJON SWIFT young black kid, wearing shorts and a red T-shirt approaches him, hand held out for a handshake.

"Good afternoon sir, my name is Kejon Swift."

Anticipating his request, I say over his intro

"Sorry man, I don't have any cash"

As he continues..

"Could I pump your gas for you?"

Kejon walks away saying nothing.

After a moment I realize I do have cash, kept in my car for toll,  which I haven't used since getting my Fastrak pass years ago. But it didn't matter I was in a hurry I didn't want to be bothered.

After thinking for a moment, 'Ruthlessly eradicate all hurry from your life' and knowing it'd take a while to pump all 20 gallons into my tank, I called out

"Hey kid you want to pump my gas for me?"

"What's your name?"

"Kejon, K-E-J-O-N  Swift"

"So you hang out here a lot doing this?" They learn to hustle at a young age. ...... impressively enterprising - I thought.


"You go to Franklin Elementary?" looking at his shirt.

"No, I'm in 7th grade!" He laughs, embarrassed.

"Oh, I was just looking at your shirt"

"So what are you trying to buy with the money?"

"A movie"

"Oh yeah"

"I almost have all of it with the dollar you give me, I'll have it all. I'll take it, go down the street and around the corner right over there and get it. Bout $3 bucks." He explains as he points

"What movie is it?"

"Happy Feet Two."

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