A Taxing Time
Not loud, but not a whisper. Venting. He complained to himself, racing against the clock.
I’m at the library, sitting at a public access computer. The public computers are arranged in a semi-circle on a large desk, a cluster workstation partitioned into carrels. Each carrel provides some privacy but it doesn’t isolate a user from nearby sounds, including grumbling.
On a computer next to me a man was muttering about filing his income taxes on time. I ignored the guy and concentrated on my own screen. It was obvious it was a bit stressed out, filing so late.
After I was done computing, I grabbed the newspaper and went to sit down in a big comfy chair. I saw that the tax prep guy had loosely dropped his forms all over the carpet by his spot. There isn’t a lot of table space with a computer carrel, but he didn’t have claim so much floor area.
I stepped around his scattered paperwork. I wondered for a moment if his refund would be screwed up if I left a big, dirty footprint on his clean, white form.
I had the feeling he wanted to be noticed.
OK, you’re noticed.