Niceness

There is rain when I walk the ten minutes into town for a large coffee, and then, the lady at the library is awfully surly with me about printing $30.40 worth of copies. I wonder why she's mad since she's the one getting my money. I leave the copies on the counter and I say: "I'm sorry. I don't have any cash. I'm just going to run next door to the ATM."

And she says:

"You can't just print all this out and walk out of here."

And I say:

"I'm leaving the copies here."

And she says:

"Where?"

And I say:

"Right there."

And two minutes later I fork over $34.00 because she did the math wrong. I'm trying to be nice, but then she's watching me, and like most times I'm being watched, I can definitely tell I'm being watched. She waits for me to sit down and get logged onto a computer. Then I hear her thick shoes on the carpet behind me, then she picks up my coffee cup and moves it, like a hazardous material, to the table behind me and says:

"No drinks near the computers."

No please, no nothing.

I wonder why people make their lives and other peoples' lives so much more tangly by making the conscience choice to not be nice.

Last night, listening to the ocean against the rocks in a remote little bay, I was thinking about how all these small motions carve out the entire world. How a little shove in the water pushes up against milleniums of stone, beating away, little by little at it, making it what it is, and how every small thing we do pushes up against the choices of others. And how everything we do, whether we acknowledge it or not, whether we believe in fate or not, has some immeasurable measure of intent contained within it.

And that we better take care with all of our small things.

And that that lady better get a good night's sleep because I've got 25 more pages to print tomorrow.