I decided to pull these snippets together in one place. The events described are from travels, both near and far, and center primarily on subject material derived from food and fuel stops at convenience stores...Kwik-Marts. The subject material found on these stops is of infinite variety and unending. If you are both alert and observant, there are stories to tell. THE KWIK-MART KHRONICLES 1 The sun was real low and bright in the western sky and I was riding right into it. I had a dull ache between my shoulders, and my eyes were on fire, nearly shut. I don’t usually wear sunglasses, but I had a new Arai XD3 and the visor was helping some. The dew point was 82d and the air was so hot and thick it was like riding through a thin soup. Light traffic, and many State guys running radar on this stretch so I had to watch the speed. When I reach the first intersection, some people point my direction. It has to be the fuel cans, unusual equipment east of the Mississippi. I give up on reaching I95 before it comes to a standstill at rush hour and stopped for a soft drink. It was only 98d, and I had the liner in my jacket. I needed something real cold, and right now. I pull the bike into a convenience mart and do my somewhat awkward dismount. Sorry, but I’m about 150 years old and not as limber as I used to be. Leaning up against the concrete block wall is a guy even older than me, like maybe you might have to carbon date him to find out when he was born. I was in fine shape by comparison, and that thought perked me right up. Everything he was wearing was faded. Faded hat, work shirt, khaki pants, and even his boots were now just a dusty sand color. Faded, that is except for his boney face, weathered dark as tree bark and about the same texture. Rail thin and standing there with his cane, it struck me that it might be less painful for him to stand than it was to sit. I nodded to him by way of introduction, but got no reaction in return. Helmut off, then jacket, I left everything on the bike and went in to get my drink. The old guy wasn’t talkative, but I didn’t think he would let anyone wander off with my gear. When I came back out, the guy was still standing there. I think it was his spot, and if I came back a month from now, he would be standing right there. He was enjoying the cigarette hanging in the corner of his mouth and was one of those smokers who both inhale and exhale with the thing just parked there. He didn’t look like he was watchin’, but don’t kid yourself, those old eyes see everything. Halfway through my drink, two Harleys pull in and park right next to me. The bikes were angled away from me and could have been the Jap version of those bikes, I don’t follow that market too closely. Thirtyish couples, half helmets, short sleeves, cargo shorts, and sneakers. Harleys or not, they thought they were riding Harleys. One bike had a diecut on the fender that said “Head Motherfucker”. Gee, that goes real well with those new white tennies. The girls were jumbo size, but still shopped for size 4. Any of those buttons let loose and innocent bystanders would be killed by shrapnel. They looked at me, then the bike, but never said a word. Time to go, this ain’t my crowd. Jacket back on, and I’m about to put the helmet on when I glance at the old man. He’s looking right at me, we make eye contact, he looks over at the Harley crew, and then directly back to me…with a wink, and an almost imperceptible smile. I really have to laugh. The old guy looks to be a day past dead and chooses not to talk, but it doesn’t mean he’s blind to certain dynamics or realities. With a smile and another nod to my ancient friend, I’m gone.