Business, one way or another

I COME INTO A MEETING of two black-robed Buddhists. A dark office, maybe. They’re discussing something. Turns out one of them is an accountant, the other an investor or banker. They are about to foreclose on the Ashram. They are debating whether it should be done immediately, on notice, or whether the one should visit for a week and pull the trigger slowly. They turn to me for my opinion, realizing as a former resident I might have some insight. I lean forward slowly.


I RETURN TO OAKDALE and Mom starts telling me that – she didn’t actually know him – had barged in, looking for something from the office, so he said. (At the office, all I knew was he had left at noon, for the day.) Stereo and computer wires, disarrayed, parts broken.

“Did you call the police?”

“No, what good would that do?”
Unwanted intruder, for starters. Restitution, too.


PLAYING CARDS WITH A GROUP of coworkers. J.T. pulls out a pack he bought cheap at some outlet store. “Here, let’s use my deck,” he says, proud of his purchase. He deals. As we pick up our hands, we notice the face or number crossed out and a rubber stamp replacement ALL CAPS with the new assignment – QUEEN OF SPADES or TEN OF HEARTS, for instance.

You couldn’t play a game with cards like that! I started laughing in my sleep.

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