This is the back window view from my concession trailer, the wonky-winky sticker added virtually to protect the proprietor; although, she knew that was going to happen, I suspect, if she’s worth every ounce of crystal in the ball resting comfortably on her velvety red table. I see this sign every day when firing up my propane tank on that side of my business and always wonder: Is there an external, psychic force – unbenounced to any living concessionaire – applying positive or negative energy to me?
Usually unanswered, this query goes. Usually. Today, I felt the force. It came quickly in the form of a short, blue flash of light. A propane brightness followed by a stench of burnt hair. This is not uncommon to me. I should have seen it coming. Rather, SHE should have seen it and warned me … somehow, through a telepathic, psychic foodie, synaptic sensory system. Twice this has happened in the fifteen years I’ve been twisting tubers on a grill. “What?”, you ask. Step #1) Hook up propane tank and turn on the nozzle, Step #2) Walk into warm trailer, Step #3) Not remember that I didn’t turn off the griddle the previous evening, aaaand Step #4) stick a long handle ez-lighter in the hole while, subsequently, clicking on the flame … score: four-burner chamber 1, Doug 0.
At that point, it just was. No sense arguing the point with any universe willing to listen. I raised a few eyebrow hairs I had remaining and tilted my head. Fortunately, two days prior I shaved. Also, most head hair was covered with a ball cap and arm follicles, similarly, with my hoodie sleeves. Save a few back of the hand stragglers gone the way of hair-burn obscurity, all was well.
All was well … everything except the remaining smell of hair torched by irresponsibility. Boy, does that linger, or what? Not only the smell, but the fact I walked through steps #1 through #4 without thinking. Shhh (🤫) .. it happens, right? No getting around accidental mishaps and misdemeanor maladies. The bothersome bugger to me is the always lingering, “Why?”.
“Why” didn’t I turn off the burner last night? I always do. “Why” didn’t I check to make sure the burner was off before lighting?
The “Why didn’ts?” and “Why dids?” in life. No wonder Ms. Medium across the lot fascinates my opening minutes so much. Problem is, she predictably predicts – or portends to – know the future, but can’t explain the whys of our past. No finely swathed clairvoyant can. It’s up to us to put the pieces together. We have to look at the tarot cards of our own printing, the crystal ball polished by our attitudes, and the palms exposed in the hands we were dealt at birth.
Why did my mom die from cancer after five years of the best treatment this area could offer her? Why didn’t the Covid-19 virus remain dormant – somewhere deep – so it wouldn’t affect millions of people around our beautifully populated world? These are two unanswerable “whys” in my tank as I sit here after seeing a blue, red, and yellow flash of light … a light I’m glad I wasn’t walking heavenly toward eight hours ago. I can’t Uber you to a Psychic hoping she will look into your eyes and find whys, brilliant answers to your questions right now. Depending on what you believe, an afterlife may, or may not, be that eternal flame of forever findings – the place where mom, possibly, is finishing Schubert’s Symphony and understanding why ovarian cancer has a mind of its own.
So, today ends where it started. Is there an external, psychic force – unbenounced to any living concessionaire – applying positive or negative energy to me? … or, by extension to you?
If you believe there is … sure! If not, perfectly fine by me as well – not that my approval or disapproval makes any difference in your life.
We make our decisions and move forward. Chance happens. Luck pops up. Possibility, probability, … fluke, fortuity, friends, and foes all are constantly flowing through the gas lines of our lives.
Just be careful where you stick your flame.