He wears two watches. First he checks the time on the left watch, then checks the time on the thicker digital on his right hand. The right one is black, bulky rubber and held together by ancient, peeling tape.
I wear no watches. None on my left and none on my right. I’m kind of liking his idea of The Dual Watch. Talk about keeping on schedule. My iPhone alarm goes off 10 minutes before my next meeting which is always 43 minutes away without traffic. And there’s always traffic.
We’re both in line at Target. I have a small stack of pictures I just printed for a birthday party and Joe, his name is Joe, is staring at them.
“Wow! You mean you printed those here? Like on a printer? When I was in The Secret Special Forces (side note – that’s not a thing) I used to print pictures at home on a really big printer. Satellite images of secret stuff. (watch…there really is a Secret Special Forces and I’m now on the ‘watch her via satellite’ list) Yah, I printed at home but I’m here at Target because I need to return something. Do you have a return?”
He stops to take a breath and looks around at the other people waiting in line with us.
Smiling at him, “I don’t have a return. Just need to pay for my pictures.” I think it threw him that I was in the return line without at least a lamp.
As if not even hearing me he continues, “Yah, but I’m in line for my return. See I have my receipt but I need to print pictures like you. Maybe I should take their machine and put it in my car. (maybe not) Well, I need to go to church and return things and print pictures.”
Then he stopped, looked around again and said with great frustration, “I just don’t know what to do.”
I just don’t know what to do.
Such a huge sentence full of questions, concerns and chaos. I’m fairly certain Joe didn’t have a thing to return as there was nothing in his hand but a crumpled up receipt. Perhaps he wanted to find himself in a place like Target with people, noise, loudspeakers and too many red shirts.
I wonder why we go to the loudest place when our mind craves silence.
Are you experiencing an ‘I just don’t know what to do’ moment? Are all the choices and decisions overwhelming you like Joe was overwhelmed? Are you standing in a line holding a receipt that is supposed to match a return but you forgot the return? Maybe you feel like you need to get to church or steal a rather cumbersome Kodak photo printer.
They call me to the register and I pull out my debit card to pay for my photos. I look back at Joe as he checks his watch on his left wrist then checks the black, bulky, rubber one all taped together on his right. He starts a new conversation with the person in line behind him.
I heard him mention the Secret Special Forces thing again. I wonder if it is a thing?