Often I forget that I work in a building of magic. The color copier is especially entrancing to patrons; brilliant smiles erupt out of sullen faces when a color copy appears.
Black-and-white copiers are envious. The color copier is fussy and takes several minutes to do its arcane shuffle-sneeze of readiness. People wait before it as if they are waiting to give their confessions, eyes downcast, silent.
Sometimes people leave behind their most prized flat possessions: driver’s license, photograph, passport, Muni pass. We collect them in a folder and do nothing with them, layers upon layers of lost. We should make a scrapbook for when the color copier retires. Here, we will say, here is everything you have improved upon.
The color copier will puff up a bit, grinning, then disappear in a cloud of vaporized ink. Yellow, cyan, magenta, black, nothing. The black-and-white copiers will feel smug, sure that they will be promoted, but by then everything will exist in our eyelids. Glass and frame and slick and backed-up. The folder will be empty. We will still wait for sudden smiles.