As I was sitting again at a stoplight on Randall Road this morning meagerly minding my own matters, I casually looked to my left and noticed a dude in a car beside me having his breakfast. It was an Egg McBiscuit from McDonald’s. Or whatever they call them.
In another era I, too, ate mobile breakfast sandwiches behind the wheel before work so I knew of his quest.
There’s an Italian mobster that lives up the street from me. He looks Italian but maybe he’s Greek. I’ve never talked to him but we’ve exchanged waves at the communal mailbox. I have a theory that he’s in the witness protection program although I don’t have proof to back that up. After seeing him mow his lawn I suspect he doesn’t like egg noodles and ketchup.
His daughter is Egyptian. Well, one year for Halloween she was dressed up as a pharaoh so I don’t know if that actually qualifies her as being a true Egyptian.
Anyway, this morning we both left for work at roughly the same time. He followed me out of our neighborhood, down Division Street, up along the Fox River, across the Prairie Street bridge, and then… He turned north on 1st Street toward Blue Goose and I continued west on Prairie.
During our minor caravan I thought for sure he was tailing me. He probably was. Maybe there’s a hit out on me, I don’t know. Maybe he wanted to wait until we were side-by-side and then give me a manila envelope with crop forecasts for orange juice.
But he didn’t.
And that avid readers, is the end of the story.
Ye old anti-climatic climax.
But wait, the real story is that sometimes we can be going down a certain path, have a good feeling that something extraordinary is about to happen. And then the story ends. That lottery ticket ends up in the trash with all the others. We don’t get a leg up on the frozen OJ market and live out our lives on a tropical beach.
Okay fine, I can get sucked into the “what I have is not enough” and more as much as the next Clarence Beeks or that there’s something missing and only if I could get the right hair cut then I’d be truly blessed.
However, to be truly and fundamentally happy in this very moment, we’ll never go wrong with simply appreciating what we have. Plus, we can always take action to make things happen rather than plodding along waiting for the universe to hand us our next winning lottery ticket.
When I do win the cosmic lottery it feels unlike anything else, the clouds have parted and the heavens rain magic down upon me. Flashy, life changing miracles only make me want more of them. They promote the good feeling that there’s something more to life than just “this.” But really, enjoying the simple miracle of what’s right in front of me pays overall higher dividends. It’s sustainable, too, something I can do every day regardless if I’m driving to work or tying my shoes. Granted, driving the same route to work can get more than mundane and maybe that’s why I tend to day dream.
But my point is that it’s not very often our cosmic path takes a life changing turn. Life just continues on as it always has and we’re only left with what we’ve always had. But there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes our courses don’t need corrected. What we have now is enough.
In related news, on my way to work the only parking lot I see that’s consistently plowed is the liquor store on the corner of Prairie and 14th Street. Your call if that’s fortuity.
Somehow Blue Goose generally works its way into my local stories. I don’t know why. It’s not on purpose as I don’t have a paid shoutout gig with the neighborhood grocery store. Maybe it’s simply because it’s the friendliest store in town. ↑
Just got stood up for an 8am conference call. Any suggestions for punishments for the offending party?
I just like to stay on the call even when nobody shows up. I relax, have a nice cup of tea for an hour or so. Enjoy the silence. Wonder what I’m getting for my birthday this summer. Wonder why I still think about my birthday presents at this age. Sometimes I’ll even check the expiration date on my Hot Tamales. Have you ever had a stale Hot Tamale? Don’t bother. They’re the worst.
Abandoned conference calls are one of those rare moments in life when you get a freebie. Like when you pull into a parking spot where the previous guy over paid. You have an hour, all expenses paid trip to wherever you wanna go. Nothing can touch you because you’re booked for that time slot. And then when your boss asks “how was the call” you can say, “Pretty low-key. No real action items on my end.”