Sure enough, the paper was there for the taking. That pleased me a good deal, because I do like to read it over the course of the week. One nice feature of the ASU campus in Tempe, where I will be spending two days a week this fall, is that the student government has struck a deal to provide free copies of the Times during the week. Because it's ASU, I can usually manage to wrangle a copy if I look at midday. Reading it so regularly, my genetic predisposition to become addicted to its content kicks in, making the Sunday edition more of a must-have than usual.
What made me happiest, though, was not the procurement of the paper itself, but the sunny disposition of the clerk who sold it to me. He's a soft-spoken Native American guy with a short pony tail and much less of the convenience store attitude -- an attitude that is hard to lament, given the nature of the work one does at a place like Circle K -- than is typical around here.
Today he was quietly singing along to Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" as he rung me up. I'd noticed that he was doing while engaged in one of his chores as I approached the register. Something inside me yearned with surprising fierceness for him to continue the song, so I was delighted that he managed to smile and tell me the price of the paper without losing the melody.
Still warmed by this experience, I stepped outside and noticed the nighthawks flying overhead. They're such graceful birds, not to mention the bane of the mosquitoes that congregate at that juncture in the evening. I usually stop to look for them at dusk, because they take a little weight off my heart. Tonight, though, flush with the unexpected goodness of my Circle K experience, the sight of the birds practically lifted me off my feet. I drove home with a half smile on my face and that sensation of existential lightness that I usually struggle hard to attain.