Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Gambler's Rush? Or Infinite Patience?
I thought I was going to miss my bus. However, I ended up arriving at
the stop in front of the train station with three minutes to spare
before 7:50 AM. The bus usually stops at 7:53 AM. This morning, I had
to wait until 7:57 AM to board. So instead of being late and missing
the bus, my heels cooled for ten minutes. I have cash to buy a car,
although I have to cash the check at Comerica, and they'll be a pain
in the ass about it. I would slap the clerk up and say I know the
check is supported by a positive pay file if the clerk wasn't the wife
of one of my co-workers. Well, I guess I wouldn't be slappy and bossy
because I've achieved some spiritual growth.
Reading quotes on Facebook, and a Course in Miracles quote came onto
the time line, to the effect of with infinite patience comes
unbelievable power? Googling gives me, "Infinite patience produces
immediate results". So that's infinite instantaneous patience too? As
I waited for the bus, the Economic Director for Muskegon County walked
towards the stone arch into the rail station from another station, and
he shouted, "Good Morning, Will". I replied, "Nice bus service". He
promised, "It will be along in a few minutes". I clarified, "I
intended a compliment". "There you go", he answered, opened the
massive door of oak with panels and fluted channels, and went inside.
I kept waiting.
In 1999, I bought a copy of A Course in Miracles, and I began to read
and memorize the daily meditations in the back. "I don't know what
anything is for", said one. Fifteen years later, hard to believe, I
find myself wondering what could have transpired in the space of that
continued practice. I know that I earned more than one million dollars
during that decade and a half, a fortune. That money is out in the
universe, still circulating, and that money doesn't write home, send
checks. I didn't know what that money was for, apparently.
I keep thinking that my ability to earn money will be permanently
lost, as part of my hearing has been lost or part of my virility. That
might be a point to be infinitely patient. I was worried about my loss
of earning power in 1999 too, having been kindly sacked from a
consulting job. I was moved out of one position into another, a
gentleman's solution to my obsolescence after two years in the same
cubicle. There's a reason the name tags are attached to the beige
fabric walls with Velcro. The owner of my first employer in consulting
told me that.
Heck, I had the patience lesson from even a better source. I went to a
party at the Church of Today, which Marianne Williamson rechristened
as Renaissance Unity. Thornetta Davis sang all night, including B. B.
King's, "Nobody Knows When You're Down and Out". I can hear her
singing the line, "If I ever get my hands on a dollar again, I'm gonna
squeeze it, and squeeze it till the eagle grins". I thought, "That's
right". I even gave my daughter a dollar and said, "Squeeze it until
the eagle grins". A few minutes later, she reported, "The eagle hasn't
grinned". "Exactly!" was my answer.
We picked up ten adults on the route before I was dropped off a
quarter mile past my office building. One jawed my ear off talking
about dozens on industrial giants that boomed in the sixties,
seventies and eighties and closed or moved before the turn of the
Twenty-First century. A woman talked loudly to a woman half her age
sitting behind her, talking about historical points, and chatted
knowingly about Buster Keaton when we turned through the Bluffton
neighborhood, a lovely mix of homes ensconced in the dunes between
Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake. Many of the homes perched on dune
hill held in place by old oaks and had wooden stairways with scores of
steps to climb up the sand hills. I was dropped off a quarter mile
beyond my office building because the bus stops have to be respected
now even if the stop is a snow bank that cannot be scaled to reach the
sidewalk. The melting has lowered the snowbank height by half.
As I write these words, I am infinitely waiting patiently for a
general ledger to reload in a data warehouse, nine million records
from 2005 forward. Hopefully, this load provides the complete set or I
am scrambling for backup tapes. I have become God, an immediate result
of my perfect patience. I have missed the 5:18 PM bus that picks up
near my office and will miss the 6:05 PM that requires a half mile
walk. The 5:18 PM goes downtown where I live but there's no shopping
for practical goods, even groceries. The 6:05 goes to Meijers and
Walmart, and gets to shopping at around 6:20 PM. Then I have to catch
the 7:20 PM, 8:20 PM or the 9:20 PM to get home. Either one takes 30
minutes to go from Norton Shores shopping to my own private Muskegon
downtown home. So, infinately patient, I'll pull out my sketch book
and immediately, I'll become Picasso.
I have turned off Pandora after listening to music on headphones all
day. Even that makes on fatigued. I have songs popping into my head
randomly. "I'm staring down the barrel of a 45", by Shinedown. I'm a
lifer. In other words, given a 45, I would be infinitely patient. The
next breath would be an immediate result.
So I have this money to buy a car. And I have a bus stop next to where
I dwell and I'm getting better everyday at connecting up rides. A car
is to drive, and I might find myself tearing off on a five hundred
mile road trip, the story of my life from January 2008 to March 2012,
when I delivered a rental car to the airport and started taking the
bus, ride sharing and cycling. I wait patiently for taxis, and
immediately become the Bukowski of Facebook as I write posts on
Facebook. I could live for a year on that cash, seeing if a grinning
eagle is an immediate result.
Eight million rows have been loaded, and I can see the counter go up
ten thousand every blink of an eye.
I ordered a beef brisket sandwich today, and it arrived rather
quickly. I was awaiting in the lobby when a perky, young woman in
Breakfast with Tiffany sunglasses came bouncing up. She had
emblazoned, on the pockets of her hoodie, a red skull and crossbone
knives in red, skull topped off with a chef's toque. I always chat up
young women who could be my daughter's age, just so I can think to
myself, "Wow, that's not much older than my seventeen year old
daughter". So I asked, "Are you in the Culinary Institute of
Michigan"? She answered, "No, I'm not old enough?". "Not old enough?"
I probed. "Yes, I'm twenty, and I just want some time before I start
all that". I give her twelve dollars, twenty percent more than the
sandwich and delivery cost. She asks, "Do you want change"? I snark in
a witty way, "Are you old enough to take a tip"? "Yes", she giggled,
and I turned to re-enter my paneled, corporate retreat. Waiting to get
a proper dinner at a lesser price might have been more infinitely more
patient. I had saved twelve dollars by waiting for the bus, however.