Nappers, Hackers…Laughter, Knackered.

The Car Story (Part II)

Once again I’ve been reminded that I quite enjoy using the bus system to get around. It strikes me that it is a microcosmic analogy of my experience on Planet Earth, riding around, surrounded by curious specimens of my kind, mirrors of myself, and yet alone, apart, anonymous– even when there’s interaction. It’s so obvious, in this situation, how every moment is a choice of love or judgement, with or against (consciously or not). And I watch compassion flow freely, even while another faculty of intelligence in me might be bristling, categorizing, inventing back-story, etc. 

So this fine Saturday, I left the rental car at home and rode the bus to the fair grounds, not for cotton candy and a good greening on the Tilt-a-whirl, but for a psychic fair, a lift of another sort. I walked through rows of stables for livestock to arrive at a building of booths for Light-stock: healers, crystals, art and hand-made instruments of all description. 

I mentioned the car theft to several people, curious about what spin it might receive in this new-age crowd. There was lightness and humor, but cars is cars; the conversations were generally prosaic. I did notice that I was looking forward to a new car and actually stated to a couple of other former Legacy owners that there is a heavy- belliedness to that car for me, rather like a bottom swimming fish. I was looking forward to lightness. Interesting name, then, Legacy: something received from the past. Uncannily apt, considering that this car came to me amid the throes of a dark passage in which all the sins and wounds of the fathers (so to speak) unwind from my being in a shamanic pageant of lugubrium.

Upon leaving the fair, I decided to buy a lottery ticket, for grins and experiment. And so I did, several, because the lady in line in front of me was radiating the good juju of just having won, not a jackpot, but a happy sum. Then I sat waiting for the bus; I hadn’t even gotten around to visioning what sort of vehicle I might buy with a windfall, when my purse buzzed, and, upon answering my phone, I was informed that my vehicle had been found. Could I get there in half an hour? I didn’t know. So the decision was made to tow and impound it. Too bad. That meant waiting until Monday and paying a tidy sum. 

What was remarkable, though, was the depression that swiftly descended. I found myself likening it, for some reason, to a post-partum comedown. I don’t want to be ungrateful, and this could, I suppose, have been unrelated to the car–the cashews I ate, the processing of healing work I had at the fair, the energy of the weary travelers  around me at the bus-stop. But there was a sense that all the past and all about my life that that Legacy represented, the Heaviness, had landed again in my own Belly. And this was nothing but thoughts. I had not seen the car yet, had yet to encounter all the signs of intrusion, disruption and perfidy that I might find upon inspecting the vehicle and its contents, or lack thereof. 

Having come from a New Age fair, of course, I pulled down a beam of light for both the car and me, to clear away unnecessary, outdated pessimism, and I decided not to know what to expect; I made the choice to leave the possibilities open. 

I wrote the above paragraphs before recovering my vehicle. I resume the account now on May 1,  two days after reunion:

Monday morning came, and I made all the calls required to turn all the far-flung tumblers, and with my old friend Bill at the wheel of his own Subaru wagon, we set off to liberate Gauri (car’s name) from where she was dug in at Duggers towing. 

The sun was strong on this summery spring day.  As we walked toward the car,  we could see no egregious damage to the exterior—a good sign. And I could see, even from squinting distance, that camping items I’d lamented losing far more than the car were there piled in the rear hatch space. Save for the camera outfit, pretty much everything of worth to me was there.  I allowed myself what will have to pass for glee in my over-extended state.

Time to inspect the inside:  I opened the door. The rear seat was a-tumble with items belonging to other parties—probably at least two other parties— I’m guessing possibly both “perps” and “victims.” The repulsion factor registered relatively low for a beat or two, until I was blown back by the smell. It was only for a moment that I could assume that this was from the leavings of the fruit and veggie groceries which had mostly returned to me the day after the theft. No, something once alive had been rotting in here. I could see no intact bodies in the mess, but I could see spillage (at first only on the carpet near the front seat, later more widespread). Yeesh. 

I opened all windows and doors; I soon discovered a T-Bone steak sealed in plastic behind the driver’s seat—sealed, not the culprit, but a clue. One steak does not a proper Bar-B-Q make, so I had to assume there were still more.  We found them later in a leaking black -plastic yard-debris bag, Officer Martinez and I, when he came to collect the evidentiary items (not belonging to me) from Exhibit A – formerly known as my back seat.

I’ve run into so many jaded APD employees this week. But, there is something bonding about enduring the aggressive smell of putrefaction with another; that stench is a force of nature.  And after removing the dusty box packed with fantasy paperbacks, the lady’s purse, the sundry clothing items, a CD binder of video games, and that aromatic sack of carrion from my car,  Officer Martinez allowed, “This really is unfortunate; I’m sorry.”

Other curiosities greeted me during my inspection of the interior.  There was broken auto glass on the floorboards and seats, although none of my glass was broken– again pointing to Gauri having had a bit of a Patty Hearst adventure through multiple crimes.  The current stereo was still installed in the dash (with the previous cassette deck, which I’d stashed under the seat, in the car’s jumbled contents, too.)  And then there was the kitchen-sized garbage bag full of sealed plastic packages of what looked like coffee beans. My uninitiated imagination only feebly attempted to envision what new meth-lab fad this might be used in concocting, and then I just relegated it to mystery and comic relief.

We found one of my Colorado license plates in the car, amply smudged with fingerprinting dust. Bill and I put it back on the rear bumper, although it lacked registration stickers.  I still have not been able to track down the rear plate. Someone in the APD has it, I’m told, but whoever does has yet to return my calls and messages, more than a week on. 

The next day, before I’d even reeled myself back to my body from Astral wanderings  —Have you seen my license plate?– George L., The Estimator!, was arriving to get his whiff of the action.  By mid-day, appraisal in hand, I’d given custody of Gauri and her formidable “aura” over to a detailer/body-shop, to be restored to a condition and aroma more befitting the stately Mountain Snow Goddess of India.  All that remained of the week’s bemusements was a pile of gear in my room and the blood drippings on the driveway.

Perhaps I should have paid more attention when the sacred string around my wrist, affixed there for Divine protection at an October Navratri fire ceremony,  had come off in the shower that morning…rather like my voodoo virus protection expiring. While this car episode had, after a week, rendered me a little manic and weary, it was another development that corroded my good humor far more.  Just before retrieving the car, I’d discovered that my email had been hacked, my computer, apparently, compromised. 

A suspicious message “from Yahoo” inspired me to call a number I found on line for Yahoo support.  I had to strain a little to understand Hammed’s English as he confirmed my suspicions and sought to determine the nature of the breach. He arranged a Teamviewer session, which enables them to remotely fish around on one’s computer. I only allowed it because I’d had a legitimate Geeksquad employee do something similar years back.  Hammed found all kind’s of stuff, which he showed me; some of it was so personally eerie, he really couldn’t possibly have planned its precision and impact on me.  I wish I could relate that part without mentioning people who must not be named.  It was only when he suggested referring me to a technician, who, for only $99 for this and $79 for that, would remedy this problem for now and for the life of the computer. I put on the breaks, debated with guy about my suspicions and insisted on going for a second opinion first.

The next morning, my friend Steve related a similar fraudulent episode he’d had recently. So I called an independent Mac Specialist. He said that Yahoo is a free email service and has no tech support.  Other computer folks at the Apple Store and elsewhere confirmed that this is more and more common with Yahoo users.  Apple store folks helped me a lot. But then the next day I had to get yet more help from another computer wiz friend to clean up the messes their help left.  I’m still mopping up. 

I confess that, as much amusement and phenomenal Grace as I’ve seen this week, it’s definitely been one of those “Stop the planet I want to get off” weeks, which I’ll hope means I’m nearing a breakthrough in this Star Child’s “Stop the World I want to get off!” life.  These are times when must Love as widely, deeply and often as we can,  yet we cannot be attached to anything.  And at every place we are attached– to things, to people, to ideas, to perfection, to our status or external identity — it seems more and more likely we’ll attract just the experience to illuminate our illusions and graciously Dis-illusion us.  In my estimation, this is like dental work. The longer it’s avoided the worse it is when it comes. And the fear of it makes it worse. And the pain must be allowed, but, submit and it passes; the less resistance, the less suffering. 

This week’s events were not about what looked like on the outside for me. They were about where these experiences lit me up, shined a light on my hidden fears, assumptions, biases, judgements of self and other, where I can still believe myself vulnerable, worthy of punishment rather than love, less than whole.  These are the wounds we all have, and as we heal these festering wounds, the abscess in the collective consciousness heals, and everyone’s load lightens; everyone’s truth shines.    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it, until and unless that attachment, too, must be surrendered.

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