VW Gas Tank Dream

March 26, 1979
[Spring of 1979 Frances and I were getting acquainted at work but not yet romantically. We both drove VW beetles: hers green, mine white.]

Strange comedy dream last night. I pulled into a filling station; just two pumps near some huge storage tanks … no building, no attendant. I hesitated to stop, but I needed gas and the price shown on the pumps looked good.

I got out and began filling up my little Volkswagen. As the gas went in, gallon after gallon, water began rising all around me like a quiet flood. When it had nearly reached the level of the gas tank opening, I realized that it would soon spill into the hole and render my car useless. Before I could stop the flow, the water had done just that!

Frustrated, I decided the only way to get the water out of the tank was to pull it out of the car and drain it. So I pulled, literally, at the pipe, and out it came, tank and all. It was flexible, made of surgical tubing material like neoprene. And behold, the tank was only bulging with a quart of liquid, which had clearly separated, the less dense gasoline over the more dense water. (I could see through the translucent synthetic rubber.)

As I dumped the liquid out, the water I was waist deep in receded, until all was dry and normal. I stuffed the gas tank back into the car and woke up. Forgot the dream entirely until my eyes fell upon the trapezoidal gas filler door on another beetle later in the day. I stared, something clicked, and the whole dream came vividly back.

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