I prayed for another book deal and I got mud on my face.

I just got served. During a 38 second stop at a red light. It was awful, bloody, painful. And it all happened in my head.

It’s a “rough” part of town. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. I’ve never experienced or felt any roughness, unless I count the many assaults on my sensitivities by morbidly obese women oozing out of their leopard-print hot pants and toothlessly eating fried chicken by the side of the road.

The traffic light is right by this big wooden pagoda that attracts the peculiar folk who don’t ever seem to go to work. They just collect there, wearing their trousers around their knees and their gang-colored scarfs half way over their eyes. I’ve been told to be worried and cautious when I drive through that area, so I am. (In fact, every time I drive past here these peculiar people are laughing and chatting amongst themselves, sharing stories and passing each other food, making sure the disabled amongst them are comfortable and fed first. But still, very troublesome indeed, I’ve been told to think, so I do).

So the light went red right by this pagoda full of food-sharing, story-telling, disabled-helping, smiling delinquents. And I hunched down in the driver’s seat so I wouldn’t meet their eyes. “God help me if one of them knocks on my window and asks for change. God help me.”

As I expected, a man got off a bench and started walking amongst the stationery cars, knocking on windows one by one. Dread filled me like a trickle of prussic acid. What if he asked me for a dollar? What could I, vulnerable and alone, possibly do in such a horrible situation?

Then his glorious yellow and pink tie-dyed T-shirt got my attention. He was handing out leaflets. People were winding down their windows and accepting them, he was laughing and his huge, brown eyes were twinkling. My curiosity built up like a wave of froth in my abdomen. I had to know what was on the leaflet! I couldn’t wait for him to get to my car!

As the man in the car in front rolled up his window and wiped the tears of hilarity from his eyes, the man in the tie-dyed T-shirt turned to me. So I looked down, started tapping on my phone, pretending I hadn’t seen him. My turn next. Gonna get my hands on that leaflet!

He walked right by, that son of a bitch!

He didn’t knock on my window, didn’t share his eye-twinkles with me, and I didn’t get my leaflet!

It’s because I’m white!” my mind shrieked, utterly indignant and gob-smacked by his audacity.

And then, in the split second before the light turned green again, I laughed. Because I’d caught myself not practicing a very important universal Law: The Law of Receiving.

My car had pulled up to that red light in a haze of my prejudice and defensiveness. I’d already decided, long before I’d arrived, that I did not want anyone knocking on my window and I would not open it if they did and they were not safe people and they were unwelcome in my safe little bubble. I kept my eyes down and my mind tightly closed. I expected to get something without giving.

Safety is important, of course. But I really trust my intuition and that man wasn’t giving my bad vibes at all. He was giving me great vibes! I really wanted that leaflet.

I’ve been asking the Universe for a lot lately, praying and meditating on my desires. I know they’ll be delivered (they always are), as long as I’m open to receiving them and as long as I act on the assignments I’m given. That leaflet could have been an invitation to a community barbeque where I might have met the next Douglas Adams. Or it could have been a random photo of a piece of fried chicken that might have given me a flash of inspiration for my next book. I’ll never know now. So I’m the one with mud on my face.

mud on face
This is my “mud-on-my-face” face.

But I might still go back later and see if he’s still there. If not, I’ll just hang out at the pagoda, share some fried chicken and laugh at some stories.


2 thoughts on “I prayed for another book deal and I got mud on my face.

  1. What a great story of self awareness and wisdom! Our per-dispositions and education often over-rides our natural instinct to want to share experiences with others. Of course there’s reasons to be cautious and to protect one self, but when you wall yourself away in a mental fortress people will pick up on that and leave you alone, just like you’re asking them to. Well written, and deeply important, thanks for sharing!


    1. Thank you, Kris! It’s hard to overcome our deeply ingrained prejudices, but as we become aware of them we can start to address them – even though they often slip through the net! It’s also important to remember that we are here learning, and to forgive ourselves when we don’t behave in exactly the way we would have liked. Next time a situation like this arises I hope I’ll prove to myself that I learned my lesson!


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