I just got home from the gym and there it was.
My phone cord.
In my lunch box. Where it always is.
I have two phone cords and the one I speak of is the one I use when I am at work. See, with my current job (I say “current’ because I won’t be at the job for much longer), I have a lot of down time. So, when one of these one-hour or two or longer stretches besieges me (they’re seriously that long. And since I gave up Facebook for Lent, I spend a lot of time listening to Audible audio books or watching TEDtalks on my phone), I retire to my secret hiding spot, plug in my phone and indulge. The reason seeing my phone cord in my lunch box is so remarkable is that yesterday, I lost said phone cord.
I mean, I lost it. I was in the hiding spot and I got a call to an airport gate and was sitting there for about half an hour just people watching. And I know the phone cord was in my jacket pocket because I went directly from the hiding spot to the gate. And at some point between leaving the hiding spot and when I was on the jet way waiting for the plane to arrive, I found that the cord was in none of my pockets. On my pants or my jacket. I had lost the cord.
No matter, thought I. This is why I have 2 cords. For this very reason. So I only have one now. And so it goes.
So when I walked in to the dining room this morning and saw my second cord nestled snug in my lunch box, it was a bit of a shock. Now, I know you are thinking “But Andy, Buddhism doesn’t allow for the presence of ghosts or spirits or goblins or anything else in our world.” Well, that’s true. But it also doesn’t not not allow for them either. My new path of enlightenment doesn’t address the presence of supernatural beings in the lives of humans on this earth. I mean, Buddha basically said “Hey jackass, there’s plenty of problems in the here and now that we all need some guidance on and I spent many a lonely hour under that goddamn [sic, sort of] bodhi tree trying to figure out what to do about them. I didn’t really have to time to contemplate the true nature of Celebrity Ghost Stories or The Blair Freakin’ Witch Project.” What it doesn’t say is that a poltergeist lives somewhere between my house and the airport and last night it got a wild hair up its ass, went down to the airport (no small feat, even for an apparition, since there are no sidewalks going into or out of the airport) retrieved the cord and came back up to my house while I was sleeping or at the gym. And that’s, like, a four-hour window when I am not in the immediate vicinity of the lunch box anyway. And I know you’re thinking “Poltergeists are invisible Andy. You wouldn’t have seen it even if you were around.” True, but since poltergeists deal with concrete inanimate objects (at least I’ve never heard of a dog or fat, lethargic cat being moved around by even a well-meaning demon) So, I spent the last 30 minutes trying to decide who or what decided to give me back my lost cord and I have a few theories:
Napoleon. One of the audiobooks I listen to all the time preaches about success in the personal, physical and professional spheres. And everybody knows that the kind of world domination that Napoleon was trying to nail down falls in line with this since it is that kind of drive and passion (albeit for fascism) Napoleon had a knack for, so his ghost is certainly a plausible culprit. However, Napoleon did lose at Waterloo, so for my purposes, he’s out. I mean, that fact alone calls into question his drive to do such a thing. In fact, it’s a couple points against him. He probably would have gotten distracted by conquering downtown Omaha or at least the dairy on the way to my house.
The Buddha himself. But see, there again, Buddha was only concerned in spreading the wisdom he had gained from meditation about this world. He could have given me back the cord out of altruism but I have decided that is unlikely because he was all about moving past earthly possessions to achieve enlightenment. Plus, he did take his message all over his native land, so he was no stranger to at least kind of promoting himself, but in that distinctly Buddhist way. I mean, the Buddha didn’t remain sitting under that tree, he took his show on the road in the mildly passive aggressive way that other Buddhists like Thich Nhat Hahn and Za Rinpoche and Richard Gere have done. A smartphone would have been pretty handy to a guy like the BuddhMeister, that’s all I’m sayin. But I have never heard anyone say “Oh my God! My boots have been moved clear across the room! It must have been the Buddha.” That’s something you just never hear.
Kilgore. The dog you seen in the backdrop of this blog is certainly a viable culprit since I have been thinking about him a lot lately since I’ve been thinking how easy it would be to talk my landlord into letting me and my roommate get a dog once I have a normal schedule. Kilgore was my spirit dog in many ways, so a case could be made that he knew I was thinking about him all the time lately and just wanted to say hi. And I also remember how much of an asshole I sometimes was with that dog around when I was drinking so it certainly would be in keeping for him to mess with me as much as I, occasionally and totally inadvertently, messed with him. But as one of my authors always says and I agree, I do hope that Kilgore is romping and running in the world beyond this one and not hanging around some bridge waiting for me to die. I would hope that the afterlife, if there is one, is at least marginally more interesting than that.
My dead grandfather. This is highly unlikely and probably only on my mind because my good friend lost someone close to him recently so that’s got me thinking of lost loved ones. But Bapa died like 25 years ago, not to mention the fact that he would just be confused by a smartphone and USB cord and would figure I probably didn’t need the thing in the first place.
So, after much deliberation, I have decided that it had to be George Carlin. Think about it. Carlin often joked about God and the afterlife (He once said that he had decided that if there is a God, it is Joe Pesci). So I imagine that heaven to a guy like George, especially if there is a possibility of fucking with the living, would be precisely the kind of place where he could spend the rest of eternity throwing car keys in the toilet, moving vases from Ohio to the Himalayas and dropping entire air crafts in the Indian Ocean only to move them to backwoods forests in Greenland (What, too soon?) And George would have most certainly have come across my blog on a coffee break or something as I was such a huge fan and decided “Man, I need to give this kid something a little something to write about instead of poems about lavender and stuff.”
Thanks George. Good to know you got my back. And thanks for the phone cord back.