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Oh FUCK!! • Posted: Apr 12, 2020 13:48:09Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

If you’ve been reading the news lately, I’m pretty sure you’ve found yourself uttering unprintable expletives without the least twinge of shame or embarrassment. As late as a week ago you may even have done so out in public for any number of reasons. For instance, while passing a treasured area recently scorched by forest fire, as in the image above. But that nearly universal tendency may now have changed. It has for me.

Out on the road days ago, it was late. I was weary and a long way from home. I saw an open travel center. I stopped. The place was almost empty, “Stay at Home” the prevailing advice. I wanted coffee. I take it with cream, half & half.

Cup in place, I pressed the lever. “Oh FUCK!!” burst from my lips. Cream sprayed all over my hand, the cup, the dispenser.

The cashier, a young woman, some thirty feet away, spoke up. “What’s wrong?”

What could I say? “Cream, all over the place.” In disgust, I sought something to wipe the mess from my hand.

She closed her register, came over, found a rag, carefully mopped up, then took out a pair of scissors to recut the nozzle. There was nothing I could do but stand clear and watch.

“Sorry for the language,” I finally said.

“Not a problem,” she replied, “I’ve heard worse. I’ve said worse. Sorry, it happened.”

She ended up giving me the coffee, no charge. I smiled. She smiled. “Have a good evening,” we both said to each other at the very same time.

Meaning? Yes, there is. It’s suddenly a time we all clearly share a common reality, lurking death. We don’t all need to be out and about. But when we are, we glide silently, in and around each other, often with grimaced smiles and nods, keeping both distance and our mouths shut, least we inadvertently spray or inhale the lurking menace. Unusual courtesy seems to have accompanied this mandate for social distancing. Most now recognize a pressing need to consider the welfare of others within our personal calculus, even though we may have previously lived on opposite sides of the cultural/political/economic divide. One can only pray the trend continues.

May the lurking menace and the deaths it claims not be without healing consequence.

(P.S. For other thoughts on “Infection”, please read the previous post by clicking or tapping on these words.)

Friday, April 20th, 2018
Dutch John
59.4 mm 160 mm
1/500 sec
f 4.5