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We get into a conversation about dates and times and schedules and procrastination. We're both there to do things far too complicated to get done in the few minutes before close. We talk about always rushing to get things at the last minute. She says there's a reason she's on line at 5:30 pm. I say there's a reason I'm on line behind her. We talk about being self-employed, which we also have in common. At 5:30 on the nose, two clerks open up and call she and I. It takes me a few minutes to get my complicated transaction done. I look over when I'm done, and two windows down, she's deeply involved in some sort of negotiation with the clerk, and I leave.
I get outside and park myself 10 feet up the sidewalk, three-quarters of a turn away from the foot traffic and fiddle with my phone. I play a quick game of Minesweeper. I look to see if a drug store has opened in the neighborhood in the last 30 minutes. I check the lobby hours for a bank I know is already closed.
Meanwhile, she emerges from the post office, walks up the sidewalk, then stops, barely five feet away from me, facing three-quarters of a turn in the other direction. She stands there, intently digging in her handbag.
I open my map app again and gaze at it, devoid of any idea what to look up. She stands and rummages around her bag some more. So I wait a 10-count, put the phone away, and as soon as I take a step, her hand emerges from her handbag holding sunglasses, which she puts on, and we look at each other. Unsure, I say cheerily, "Hey, you take care, now." She says, "You, too." And I saunter off.