Fate Buying Me a Cup of Coffee
Congratulations to Michael (as in Valerie and) for getting through his pre-lims today! For those who haven't heard me tell the story--Michael caught the flu a few days ago just in time for the big event. Michael, I'm sure the cold medicine made you even more lucid than normal.
Quick story. I'm in the computer lab. No, not the evil and diseased Law School lab, the Memorial Library lab (three words: flat screens flat screens flat screens). yeah right, that was six. I need sleep. Where was I? They have flat screens here, and the computers work, and nobody talks. It's just the clicking of fingers and the sound of light bulbs going on and off in people's minds. People studying normal subjects like anthropology and Portuguese.
I sat down at my computer about an hour ago, and on the floor were two shiny quarters. I have no money. I need coffee. But they weren't mine and it appeared as though they had fallen out of the pocket of the anonymous computer-user to my left. She was up walking around, so I picked the quarters up and placed them at her computer station in front of her keyboard. Back to my finger clicking.
She sat down a few moments later and lifted the two coins into her palm. She's curious. She wonders how they got there. She doesn't say anything. She goes back to her clicking.
Time passes, and the main library closes. Foot traffic ceases in the corridor outside the lab. The crowd at the computer lab thins out, too, until I'm the only one left in my row. I'm having trouble staying awake, lean back to stretch. My chair swivels to the left and I let it take me. I'm glad to give my eyes a break from looking at the screen.
Then I saw them sitting right where I had left them an hour earlier. In front of the keyboard of the computer to my left were two quarters--coveted briefly and then abandoned by me. I took the coins into my palm, just as the woman I'd given them to had done. Took a minute to think about the way that objects take on meaning, and then I went across the street to trade them for caffeine.