I was at one of my favorite coffee shops today. The woman working the cash register had worked there for years. I ordered a large coffee. $2.45. Her name tag read Susan. I gave her three singles and decided I would say “Thank you, Susan” when she gave me my change back. But I felt this impersonal divide between us, like maybe there was something wrong with calling her by her name. I saw her old veiny fingers count out the change and thought of my Dad’s fingers. They looked very similar to hers. If she were to pass away, there would be someone to mourn her. Why are we alien to each other just because we stand on opposite sides of the cash register? She’s not welded to the machine. She’s a person. So I called her Susan.