I started this morning by paying three bills. I still prefer to write checks and drop them in the mailbox, the old-fashioned way. I’m not opposed to technology, but I do like things with a physical quality. There’s an almost meditative aspect to taking the time to write a check and then sticking a stamp on an envelope.
I used our last Harvey Milk stamp. (It was our stamp, even though I’m the only one who uses postage stamps on a regular basis.) Our Janis Joplin stamps were used up long ago. None of the three bills were due soon, so I picked my favorite debtor, stamped it, and set the other two envelopes aside.
A library book I had on hold came in today. I wasn’t ready for it, but that’s the way it goes. I decided I’d pick it up on my way home. I also decided I’d buy more postage stamps on my way home, too. The Post Office on Broadway is on the way from Capitol Hill Station to the Capitol Hill Library, and I’d have time to stop in on my way home before it closes, but there’s no stamp vending machine, and I’d have to stand in line. I just didn’t feel like standing in line.
The Downtown Post Office has a cool stamp vending machine. I like things with a physical quality, but technology is awesome, too.
I stopped into the Downtown Post Office after work, and had the machine print me up some postage stamps. Then I walked to the bus stop at 4th and Pike. My plan was to catch a 49 bus, the closest bus to the library, but a 10 or 43 would work, too. I got to the stop, and a 47 bus – the least convenient of the four for the library – was there, loading passengers. I decided to board it. It was a nice evening, and I have nothing against walking.
On the way out of Downtown, on the 47, a man recognized a former social worker (or maybe public housing employee) and walked up the aisle to say hello. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on the conversation – the social worker was sitting right behind me, and the man spoke very loudly. The social worker was working at another facility, and the man was still at the old place. He was doing well, was happy, and proud that he’s in stable housing – and the social worker was proud of him. As the man exited at the next stop, he made an excellent observation: “As long as you pay your rent, everything’s going to be all right.” I missed my old job at the clinic (most of it anyway) at that moment, but I’m happy where I am.
I exited the 47 at Olive Way, and walked over to the library. Then I walked home with our new postage stamps (just flags – no Harvey Milk, Janis Joplin, or anyone else interesting) and another borrowed library book.