The other evening I needed to pay my internet bill. It was due. Yes, I could have paid it online, but whenever possible I prefer to deal face to face.
When I walked in the manager was once again manning the triage desk. One of the things about paying my bill in all kinds of weather while wearing my gear is folk tend to remember me. He and I have this little dance we do each month. I tell him I want to pay my bill. He tries to direct me to one of the self service machines. I remind him that since my head injury I don't do machines. He says he remembers and I believe him. But even so, he next offers as he does every month to walk me over to the machine and do all the work for me. Each month I decline and every month he reminds me how much he hates to see me wait. We go through this every month. This month he was particularly keen to get me to a machine since I might be facing as much as a thirty minute wait. I assured him it really was fine. Finally, he gave up. He wrote down my name and I retreated to the wall of windows that face somewhat west.
Waiting for me was a view of a most remarkable sunset. I knew that if not for this unintentional wait I would have missed this sight completely. I would have finished my commute, had the bike hooked up to the battery tender, and been in my condo feeding the cat. As it was, I had nothing else to do but stand there and watch the sunset intensify in color--orange, yellow, multiple shades of purple, and even some green.
At one point I noticed the manager dealing with a particularly angry customer. I admired his patience, but thought I detected a certain sense of burden on him. I began to suspect this had not been an easy day for him.
I watched the sunset unfold and waited for the manager to be free of customers. When this happened I called to him and motioned him to come over to where I was standing next to the door. He came over. I told him to open the door, step outside and look west. To my surprise he didn't question me, but just did as I asked.
I watched him stand there looking at the sunset. He stood there for at least a full minute, maybe longer. Then he came back in.
"Pretty cool, hey?" I asked.
"Yeah," he said and smiled at me.
As he left me, it seemed he had a little more bounce in his step, but these things are difficult to gauge and I was well aware I could have imagined it. I went back to watching the sunset and waiting to pay my bill.
Later, the manager walked a customer to the door. They have a custom at this store. After your dealings are completed, the person who waits on you walks you to door, opens it for you, and thanks you for your business. It is a nice touch and I like it. Anyway, the sunset was waning, but still glorious as he closed the door. I said to him, "You didn't ask her to look at the sunset."
"No, but I did text my wife and asked her to look at it," he said, smiling as he pulled out his phone and showed me the proof.
"Cool," I said.
Eventually, I managed to pay my bill. The whole transaction took maybe a minute and a half tops. And, it was worth the wait.