Today was one big rush. I headed out the door early to give myself extra time to study in the library. The test went well, I think, unless I goofed something up. Then I headed down for the library to write my paper for tomorrow's English comp. I don't know. It was on euthenasia. MLA referencing is a pain in the hind end. Everyone else in the class seems to be familiar with it. I have no experience with it, none that I remember anyhow. And if I did, it was well before the time of the internet referencing. But the paper is done. I was racing the clock, and finished up at 3:30. I snatched the papers from the printer and sprinted to my car. I had to be to work by 4.
Driving at 35 mph (the posted speed limit) through the residential area of Buffalo Rd., some idiot tailgated me, swinging out as if to pass (in a no passing lane) over and over again. I pulled over, he flew past me at well over the speed limit and, I am ashamed to admit it, but I flipped him off. What does God do with people like me? Really? And I was ashamed of myself even as I watched him begin to tailgate the next vehicle in front of him, making his own impatient gestures at that person.
As I burst through the front doors of the store with one minute to spare, Jessie said, "Jees. You're always here 15 minutes early. "Yeah, I know," I said, rushing past the register to the back of the store. Mark and Bob and Dave were talking with Gary, who I don't really know. He's back to work after 12 weeks off, for a broken ankle. Mark said, "Wow. You made it. Have you met Gary?" and I said, "Briefly. Not trying to be rude, but really, I have to pee." And I went tearing past them.
You know, there's a father, a farmer, who comes into the store, and he generally has a little boy with him, and this little boy stutters something awful, but I am struck always at how patient this dad is. He never gets flustered or impatient. The little boy is a chatterbox, and the father will be visiting with someone, and the little boy will be trying to say something, and the father will listen carefully and then answer him, and then go on with his own conversation. Once there was a problem at the register, and he waited patiently as it got sorted out. When his turn finally came, I thanked him for his patience, and he drawled, "Aw, I just don't see getting upset about stuff. It's not worth it." I watched him tonight, and I think what I always think when I see him: what a rare thing patience is in the world. And it seems such a shame that it should be. I think again of the impatient driver, and my own impatient response, and I clearly see my own faults.