Kinko’s Chronicles

One morn­ing, my wife was mak­ing copies at Kinko’s, when this sweet man in his ear­ly sev­en­ties, com­plete­ly unself­con­scious, per­haps even a lit­tle defi­ant of how, in our para­noid cen­tu­ry num­ber 21, his actions might be a lit­tle icky to a young mom, struck up a con­ver­sa­tion with my then two-year-old son. He crouched to the boy’s height, looked him straight in the eye, and engaged him in a sto­ry that left the kid entranced. Naturally, Samira’s moth­er­ly instincts kicked in, and she pulled Cyan towards her.

But then the 19-year-old employ­ee came back with what looked like a 500-page script, hand­ed it to the man, then launched into a star-struck spiel: “I love your work Mr. So-and-so,” etc. The sweet man tipped his hat to Samira, tucked his mag­num opus under his arm, and walked out.

Samira pulled out her phone to google Mr. So-and-so just to be sure, and indeed the face that looked up from her screen was a match. She hit dial, and when I picked up (mid-act­ing class), she asked: “Hey, do you like Sam Shepard? Well, guess what.”

Goodbye Mr. Shepard. This evening, I’ll be read­ing Motel Chronicles in your honor.

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