It’s raining cats and buffalo. I’m standing in line in the hardware store, waiting to check out. I've had a nagging cough since this morning. And, I am in a lethargic mood—somewhere between “unenthused” and “living dead.”
I hope I'm not getting sick.
There’s a girl who joins the back of the long hardware store line. She's Hispanic, holding a baby. She's buying one item.
A man lets her cut ahead of him. So does another woman. And another. And ten others in line.
Soon, the girl is at the head of the line, paying the cashier.
“Tank yoo,” she says to everyone.
Everyone waves and says something like, “No problem.”
I leave the store. I jog toward my truck through the rain. My wife calls. She wants me to pick up milk, eggs, and a bottle of vitamins.
"Not the cheap kind,” she explains.
She wants the kind that require a reverse mortgage.
The supermarket—I see a man in a wheelchair. He is in the self-checkout lane.
The man is missing both legs and one arm.
He stuffs his groceries into a gym bag. A woman is with him. He refuses to let her help him.
When it is time to pay, he reaches into a pocket and removes a credit card. He swipes, then places the card between his teeth and taps a digital screen.
The cashier inspects the man’s receipt, then says “Have a nice day, sir.”
“Oh, I definitely will,” the man answers.
And he seems to mean it.
After the hardware store, I drive across town to get a haircut. The lady who usually cuts my hair is named Julia. Julia is an artist. The only one who can tame this unruly red mop.
Julia is out with the flu.
The woman who trims my hair is new, from North Alabama. Her…