Time Traveler

The Thomas Guide - 1993 Edition
When I was living in Los Angeles about 20 years ago there was no Internet, no smartphones, no Metro. It was high tech enough for me to be able to fax a resume straight from my PowerBook. Getting around the city required purchasing a Thomas Guide map the size of a phone book. My job provided me with a cellular flip phone that was only to be used for emergencies (because calls were pretty expensive) and a pager that received texts, although the caller didn't actually text, they spoke to the number they dialed, which an operator then texted to the pager. It seems so archaic now.

Today I navigated the city with Google maps on my iPhone, and I'm texting people at no cost, and keeping friends back in Tokyo abreast of my whereabouts and goings on (status updates in modern day lingo). Parking meters take credit cards here, and I was worried about not having enough quarters! I lived in Studio City, in the Valley, where the ocean air never reaches. My roommate used to joke that we were living on Mars because there was a constant haze we got used to breathing. Roommate is a bit of a stretch. He had the bedroom. I had the living room. It was a living arrangement that I can't even fathom of putting up with now, but somehow I did for three years. Slept on a futon, the kind that folds into a couch. I guess I didn't really need much privacy. I was always going out.


Buddha for "You"

So I enter the meditation hall, take off my sandals, and look around the room. Several people are seated in chairs along one side of the room and the back wall. Only a few are cross legged on the cushions that line the floor. I pick a cushion that has an extra cushion on top, perfect for keeping me raised enough so my long legs don't fall asleep, and sit down. "Excuse me, I put that cushion there to sit on," says a woman sitting in a chair.

"Oh," I reply. "Sorry."

I look up and see another high cushion. I go over to it and plop down.

"Excuse me, I put that there for him to sit on," says a man sitting in a chair next to his friend, who is also sitting in chair. "If you want an extra cushion, there are more in the corner," he adds.

Why the hell are you people sitting in chairs if you want to sit on a cushion?! And if there are extra cushions available, why do you care if I sit on "yours"?!

My mind raced with these thoughts as I went to take "my" extra cushion from the corner of the room.
Enlightened people crack me up sometimes.