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Returning A Smile

Sometimes it’s easy to become discouraged. Earlier today I stopped at the post office to mail a Mother’s Day gift to my mom in Colorado. Then I took Savannah bone shopping at PetSmart. I was standing near the fish tanks looking at the kinds of ‘community aquarium’ fish I used to keep in my 10-gallon aquarium when I was younger. Mainly I had tetras, guppies, and a few small catfish to clean the rocks on the bottom of the tank. PetSmart also had some cool looking little glass shrimp that seemed like a unique addition to any beginning aquarium.

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Savannah pulled away from me and was facing toward the birds and small animal habitats, when I noticed a small, plump, wavy haired, white woman looking at Savannah. I overheard another customer’s comment about Obama, and suddenly I felt an incredible sorrow – almost like humiliation, as if someone was out there was mocking me and my attempt at good humor. I had a horrible dream early this morning before I woke up, but then I chanted for two hours and felt better. I waited in line at the post office, and listened to a customer argue with the postal clerk about a lost package. I felt angry – about my situation and about my life in general, until I realized that I didn’t need to walk around angry all day. I thought about Buddhism. I thought about smiling. I thought about talking to other people, and by the time I reached my postal clerk, I was able to return the smile she offered me.

When the feeling of sadness came over me at the pet store, I attributed it to the short, plump woman although I’m not entirely sure why. When she walked away, and when I left the store after buying a few items, I felt a little better. We walked for a few more minutes, but then I saw two motorcycle cops drive past me and decided it was time to go. Next time we’ll just stick to the Sunnyvale bay trails.

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