Four Bucks

Funny thing today. Anyone who reads me with any regularity knows I’m a firm believer in Karma. What goes around comes around. I was walking through downtown Chicago today and realized I was walking past my dentist’s office.

And I also realized that after my last teeth cleaning a few months ago, I got a bill for the difference between what my insurance thinks a teeth cleaning should be and what my dentist charges. Four dollars. A cup of coffee. Okay, fancy coffee… but still… a cup of coffee.

And I also realized that something that has been occupying a lot of my mental energy these past few weeks is a fairly large sum of money I am owed from a place I regularly do work with. Now before any panic sets in from my regular clients who are flipping through their accounts payable files saying, “Is he talking about us?” No. Trust me. It’s a staggering figure and one that you wouldn’t misplace. No, this party and I have had many discussions about it. If you haven’t heard from me… repeatedly, it’s not you. Really.

But back to my dentist. Four dollars isn’t worth the paperwork to send me a follow up bill. I know it. My dentist knows it. But as I was walking by today, I thought, you know, it’s still a debt and if I’m going to be looking to Karma to set things right on this other matter, I’d better make sure my own house is in order.

Crown Fountain at Millennium Park, Chicago

Crown Fountain at Millenium Park, Chicago

So I walked in and greeted the assistant, who amazingly, remembers my name even though I only see her once every six months.

“I think I owe you four dollars,” I announced while opening my wallet.

She laughed. And she called up my account.

“Why yes, you do owe us four dollars,” she said in amazement. “And you came in, in person, to pay us four dollars?


“Well you’re going to go down in the Dentist Hall of Fame for this one,” she laughed.

I paid her and walked out into the bright beautiful Chicago sun, feeling pretty damn good about the whole thing. Four dollars never felt so good.

And Chicago isn’t just a beautiful city in the sunshine. In fact it really shines at night. Here’s a photograph of the Crown Fountain in Millennium Park I took last year. I was out with an old Leica film camera I had rediscovered. Yep, I still shoot film when I feel like it. And like the four bucks, the Leica felt good.

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