Tuesday, June 26, 2007

two bit karma

Monday I drag my suitcase from my hotel to the MAX stop in downtown Portland to pick up the train to the airport. I'm standing in front of the machine trying to figure out what kind of a ticket I need and how much it's going to cost when a woman approaches from my left and asks, "Is that a suitcase?"

I immediately go into defensive annoyed mode. I don't like people who invade my space without some polite niceties. And I don't like people who ask stupid questions. Of course it's a suitcase. Ignoring my ignoring she then asks, "Is it waterproof?" and I realize that she's intrigued by the fact that my suitcase is bright yellow, which makes it easy to spot on the baggage carousel. I answer her curtly. Then she asks if she can see my tattoo. Now she's really getting forward, but already engaged with her I don't have much choice and I flip up the shirt sleeve to show her. She says it's beautiful.

The ticket machine won't accept my bill. I try another. It won't take that one either. I open my change purse and see I'm 25 cents short. "Hey," I say to the woman. "Have you got a quarter you can give me?" She says, "First you don't even want to acknowledge me and now you want my help?" To her credit she digs in her purse and comes up with a quarter. She says to me, "You've learned a lesson today." Yes I did. I told her, "Think of the good karma that's going to accrue to you later today." I hope I was right.

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