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Archive: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
12/31/01 Went the Neighborhood
12/01/01 This Magic Moment
11/14/01 Brain Gap Day
10/28/01 B-I-N-G-O
09/28/01 Me and the Girls
09/16/01 The Local DJ
08/12/01 Out of the Closet
07/28/01 The Bomb

Brain Gap Day

In the middle of a manic Monday I met Mr. Becker, the landscape guy. He arrived at my house while I was cooking lunch and caught me grumpy-hungry. He came to give me an estimate on my flower bed. I wanted to add color to the yard to neutralize my naturally recurring suicidal tendencies. I was prepared to spend money on the project, but it ended up costing something far more precious: my time.

"We'll have to dig up the seasonal flowers before we can add the perennials."

"Fair enough," I said.

"Yup," he said, looking around. "We'll have to dig 'em up."

There was an awkward silence followed by an awkward silence. I waited for Mr. Becker to say something meaningful, to kick the conversation in the butt, but he just kept nodding his head. I wanted to pinch him very hard.

Mr. Becker is a human speed bump, a man who prevents us from making headway on any given day. Speed bumps are not always gardeners. They can be movers, designers, politicians. I once had a doctor who kept me 45 minutes to explain his views on dehydration. So it goes.

"The snapdragons," said Mr. Becker, "are seasonal flowers, so they won't live through the winter."

"Which is why you'll have to dig them up."

"We'll have to dig 'em up."

Mr. Becker kicked a rock and exhaled deeply. It was his "thinking breath." It seemed that I was his only appointment today. I, on the other hand, could hear my to-do list laughing at the window.

At this point, a little Buddha appeared on my shoulder. Jasonsan, everyone you meet has something to teach you. Be quiet and find out what it is.

I looked at Mr. Becker ... quietly. He was still eyeing that rock.

"Snapdragons," he mumbled.

My stomach growled. The bitty Buddha urged me to be strong. Here is an opportunity to release your self-importance and surrender to the moment.

"How much will the flowers cost?" I asked.

Mr. Becker removed his cap and ran his fingers through his hair. A weighty question indeed. He would need some time to answer a question like that. All day perhaps.

"Ballpark figure," I said.

"We can't use the snapdragons, and we'll be adding some color..."

Mr. Becker looked at me as if he had a question.
" How much will it cost," he repeated, putting his cap back on.

Inside my house, the microwave beeped. My microwave that could roast a turkey in half the time it took this man to form a sentence.

"It'll cost more to turn the dirt. They won't survive the winter, those snapdragons."

"Really?" I asked. "I was just wondering if the snapdragons would survive the winter."

"No, see, because they are seasonal..."

The poor guy didn't even know I was teasing him.

I tried to find the lesson that Mr. Becker had to impart. I had nearly invented something when a voice inside cried, No! This man belongs to an abusive legion of lead-footed wishy-washers impeding the evolution of human consciousness. We find them at every turn, falling in our path and making sure that our day does not go smoothly.

It is time that the clear-headed, non-mumbling population be awarded an extra day off to reimburse us for the time we spend on these people. It will be called Brain Gap Day. All the Mr. Beckers can go about their business sluggish as they please while the rest of us unwind over a beer in the sun. The nice part is that they probably won't even realize we've taken the day off.

As for the bitty Buddha on my shoulder ... I ate him.


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