Shopping at the south Salem Fred Meyer store today provided more evidence that my boundless compassion for all sentient beings, a.k.a. Buddha nature, has some room to grow.
Scene: I'm pleased to find a checkout lane in the grocery section that only has two people in front of me. Hey, I may be retired, but I'm a busy guy. This is only the second stop in my Trader Joe's - Fred Meyer - LifeSource Natural Foods route. I've already been to Les Schwab Tires and the post office. I've got to pick up our tuned-up bicycles at a bike shop. In short, I've got Important Things Left To Do.
My inner thoughts: Great, the first woman is paying for her stuff. Second woman only has a few things on the belt. Sweet! I'll be out of here real soon. Right after that woman finds her money in that huge purse. Oh, great! She's got bills in her hand. Counting them out... give them to the checker... let's get going. Geez, no, I don't believe it. Now she's rummaging through more compartments, more zippers, more recesses in her purse. Must be looking for exact change... screw it, lady, just hand over the money and let the checker give you some change. Can't you see how you're holding up two other customers. Jesus fucking Christ! Is it a freaking surprise to you that you have to PAY after you go through a check out line? Couldn't you have rehearsed this at home? So happy I'm not her husband... oh, thank you sir... he's handing her some money from his wallet. Take it! TAKE IT! Forget finding the exact amount. FORGET IT! Yikes. Can't be. She's STILL looking through her purse. You're done, lady, you're DONE!!! The checker is trying to give you your receipt. Call it a day! Game over! Move on and let normal competent shoppers get through this lane!
Outer words spoken by the woman in front of me: Gosh, I know what it's like to not be able to find a bunch of money that you thought was in your purse. That's happened to all of us. It's a horrible feeling, not knowing where it went. I'm so sorry for you.
OK, in my Buddha nature defense I got to the checkout lane after the woman who said those words. She was standing closer to the woman searching through her purse for what seemed like eons. Maybe she heard the searcher-woman say something I couldn't hear.
Or missed hearing because of the loud complaining that was going on inside my head, me speaking to me.
This experience taught me a lesson which I will soon forget, because I always do: while it may seem obvious that many people in the world are fucking idiots whose only mission in life is to drive me crazy through actions clearly designed to irritate and delay me, the truth might possibly be rather different -- that I am not the wise center of the world around which fools revolve, but merely one of the pack, like them neither inherently wise nor foolish, just human.
Nyah, I'll think tomorrow, or in the next few minutes. That makes too much sense. I'm surrounded by fucking fools trying to drive me insane!