There is a feeling of relief, drawing near the front of the line at the movie theatre and seeing the clerk post a small notice that the next showing is sold out. It is the same thrill one gets when, after planning a meeting or outing, the other person calls or texts or writes and says they can’t make it after all. There is the disappointment, of course, of missing an expected pleasure, but the sense of openness, of possibility, of freedom is generally more overpowering.
Walking downtown, an earnest but slightly unwholesome petition circulator approaches: ‘Can I borrow a few minutes of your time?’ Demurring by habit, I did wonder how I would receive return on a loan of time, turning the matter over in my mind for about half a block. I then forgot about it until the clerk in the theatre box office taped up the notice and returned to me, so unexpectedly, my afternoon.