There’s a whole set of RULES life slaps up on the score board next to your name. You probably know what I’m talking about, you just may not recognize it yet. There’s some activity that re-occurs like a Ground-Hog-Day sort of thing in your life, some event you get to live over and again, or maybe even a sequence of linked experiences that echo like a familiar musical riff. You know when it happens…that sense of having been in this time and space before.
Let me give you an example. Here’s one of the rules assigned to me:
This is a cosmic rule, one of those directives that cannot be broken. I can’t even guess how many times this has happened, so often in fact, that I find it easier to track the number of sober people I’ve sat beside. One of the more memorable trips was a guy, a kid practically, who sat next to me on a flight to Las Vegas. He was so entertaining he kept the passengers in hysterics for two hours. I wrote him into a story. Usually people wind up coming to a bad end in print because they make me mad. I have fond memories of A.J. and hope he’s learned to curb his appetite for tequila shooters.
This is sometimes quite fascinating and occasionally very sad. The person generally hits me up for $5.00 at the end of the story. Once I just handed the guy a fiver and hoped he’d go away. He was so touched by the unexpected largess that he settled in for a good long visit. Epic fail. I listened and nodded and wondered if a ten dollar bill would have worked. I’m too leary to try it and see what happens.
These rules appear to be unbreakable. There is no way out of listening to the crazies or having the drunk guy drool on my shoulder. I figure I can accept this in two ways: either I’m paying penance for something naughty I said or did in a previous traipse through life, or I’m scoring brownie points for some whopper goodness down the road.