The Beauty of it All

I’m not a bawl baby but a sunset moves me to tears…and perhaps, larceny.

Sunday at Kinkos. Two employees kibitzed at the rear counter.

“Would you make a few copies for me?” I asked.

“Use the self-service copiers, Dude,” said the pimply-faced one.

I walked to a row of machines and inserted my Visa. Clear paper path.

I returned to the employees and asked how to clear the path.

“Use the next machine, Dude.”

I fed my plastic into another machine. Out of paper.

Again, I returned and explained.

“You should know enough to try the next machine.”

I inserted my Visa into a third machine. Zip, zip, zip. Out spit my copies and card.

I walked back to the counter for a receipt.

“Gotta ask for a receipt before you copy. Copy that, Dude? Heh-heh.”

“How do I get my credit card out of the machine?”

“It kept it, Dude?”

I fibbed and said yes, then added, “I put my driver’s license in too. The machine also ate it.”

“That was stupid, Dude. You only need your Visa.”

By then the sun was casting beautiful long shadows into the store. Easy to cry. Between sobs I explained that I had been on my way to a funeral. I was confused — my car tank was empty and I had no credit card for gas.

The other customers were quite sympathetic, approaching lynch mob melt down.

Pimple Face gave me ten dollars for gas.

“When you pick up your plastic you can pay back the ten bucks,” said Pimple Face. He and his accomplice fell upon the copy machine with a small crowbar to persuade it to give up my items. Whack. Whack.

I left. The sunset made this dude feel warm all over.


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