Chillicothe, Part 2

One other fun story about Chillicothe and it’s seedy underbelly. Seriously the downtown is divine and the park is a little slice of heaven on earth. Other parts? Not so great.

We went to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. After we finish the mobster wants ice cream. But most everything downtown is closed at this point. He says he’ll just pop into a gas station and grab an ice cream there.

Let me tell you a little something about Ohio. They have bars in their gas stations. I swear to God I am not making this up. Full service bars. With seats and a bar and everything. And they have drive-thru liquor stores, which I thought was unique to Kentucky but apparently it is not.

I pull into the first gas station. It is packed. I can’t find a parking space and there are people congregating outside. I turn to him and say, “Isn’t this the gas station with the bar in it?” He agrees that it is. At this point I just say, “No.” No, I was not going to do that. I wasn’t going to try to navigate a parking lot filled with cars and people and no parking spots. I wasn’t attempting to find a parking spot. I wasn’t parking while he went inside. I was not risking my life or his. I’m not saying people who drink and hang out at gas stations are bad people. It’s simply not an environment in which I’m comfortable. We move on.

Next gas station is also packed. I make my way around the cars at the pumps and realize I am stuck until someone moves. The mobster jumps out to go buy some ice cream. Comes back a minute later, telling me they had absolutely no frozen items. And still we sit, waiting for someone to leave at this busier than fuck gas station. At this point I’m thinking they’ve got a gas station up the street with a full freaking bar in it and they also have a drive thru liquor store not far from here. Why is this place hopping? Seriously. There were people and cars all over.

I have to tell you before i go on why this was so triggering for me. When I was 17 or 18 years old 3 of my friends and I were out one summer night (at least I think it was summer- it was over 40 years ago!). Our friend Cynde had this little yellow Datsun, stick shift. She flooded the engine. We had no idea at the time that that is what happened. We just knew the damn car wouldn’t start. And we were not in a great section of town. Why on earth we were over there I don’t know. But we spotted a cop over at the Bullseye Liquor store and we made a beeline to him. The cop, by the way, was not buying alcohol or simply hanging out at the liquor store. He was actually on duty, directing the traffic and making sure all behavior was above board. Because this place was *that* busy. He very kindly called my mother who came and picked the four of us up. Meanwhile, while we wait we’ve got cars pulling in and pulling out at an invigorating pace. We have older men hitting on us. I remember one guy asking, “Ladies, can I ask you something? How does it feel going through life so beautiful?” Or some such bullshit.I saucily replied that it felt pretty great. Chillicothe gas stations on a Saturday night brought the whole Bullseye Liquor store thing right up to the forefront. The words I spoke to Cynde, who was somehow delightfully ignorant of the danger we could be in despite her father being a cop, ran through my head as I navigated these inordinately busy gas stations, “It is not fine! They are going to rape us, kill us, and chop our bodies into tiny little pieces!”

Finally we were able to leave. The mobster says to just go on home. He can live without the ice cream. We pass one more gas station which is closer to the park. I offer to pull in. He says, I swear, “That’s ok,” so I pass it by. Then he says, “I said ok. I would like the ice cream.” Thankfully I could turn at the light and go in the second entrance. This particular gas station operated more as an actual gas station and not a bar. He got his ice cream. I escaped death. We drove back to the house and I drank a bottle of wine. I shared a little with him. He had ice cream. Wow- that whole gas station and Bullseye Liquor thing really did come full circle what with me drinking almost an entire bottle of wine after my ordeal at the gas station.

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