Wow. I haven’t written on here in so long. Been so wrapped up in pre-pro on Deluge that I forgot blogging even existed. But alas, I had to step out today to go to Kinko’s. Ah, Kinko’s.

handle with care

I met a guy there once before. He’s an assistant manager and has a nice hair cut. The last time I came, we stood in awkward silence for five minutes when my receipt jammed in the printer and he struggled to rescue it. A receipt for a purchase of paper is not extremely essential to my budget but I decided to stand there and see if he’d ever fix the paper jam. It was fun to watch his hands and eyes move in frenzied coordination trying to figure it out. He had nice hands with a few gashes and marks on them.

Finally, he went to the back, leaving me for five more minutes with no receipt. I waited, and when he came back, he handed over a 3-page printout of the small paper transaction. He smiled at me. Then it was over. I liked his persistence.

Today, I walked in and there he was delegating tasks to fellow employees. I told him I needed my paper cut. He said it would cost me, but “I don’t mind taking your money,” he said. He smiled at me and I smiled back. Probably the biggest smile I’d had in a week. Sad, I know, but pre-production is hard sometimes.

I took my paper out and told him I just needed “a little off the top.” Gave him an exact measurement. He looked at me, grabbed the stack of paper, and took it to the back. He cut my paper. For free. I think he wanted to say more but more words didn’t come. I touched my newly cut paper and pushed it into my used brown Kinko’s bag. I started to take out my phone like I really had something to do on it. I didn’t. He started toward the back where I imagined he presided over a mound of paper shipments that gave him tiny cuts on his fingers.

I gave my paper a final once over and walked toward the exit. He was standing on the other side of the counter smiling at me. “Have a good day!,” he yelled out. I smiled back, and waved. I walked out to my car and looked back like maybe he might follow me with advice on paper-cutting, but he didn’t. I got in the car. I drove away.

I run into these kinds of situations and am not quite sure of how to go about them. I think someone is cute. They may think I am cute too, but who has the words for that when they are trying to fix a receipt jammed in a printer or cut the top of paper? What is the proper protocol when you have a crush on a sandwich-maker at Whole Foods but there are 9 disgruntled customers in line after you who could care less? Sure, you can ask them what sandwich they like best, or in the case of Kinko’s, inquire about how they got started in the paper business, but is that really sincere when all you really want to know is if they are interested in you too?

Well, you have to start somewhere. Maybe that somewhere is inquiries about different grades of paper, from linen to card stock, which segue into questions about good movies they’ve seen and if they like sweet potatoes as much as you do. Wait, is that too much? And, if the sandwich is good at Whole Foods, maybe I should let the guy know what a great job he did the next time I’m in there. Or maybe it’s bringing more paper back to Kinko’s and asking him if he wants to cut… Who knows. I like to think fate is the best option in all cases. Maybe, in some strange way, we will meet again, the paper man and I.

But, for now I have to finish this movie.