The Natural Order of Things
The above photo is my own. I took it while good ol’ NYPD ran my license and registration through the system on Friday. It’s a good thing I’d taken care of this problem when I did, otherwise I would have probably spent the weekend at Camp Central Booking. At first I was upset about getting the ticket, because I felt it was bullshit. So what if I made a right turn onto Empire Blvd off of Franklin and it’s an illegal turn? I make a *left* turn there quite literally 4 days a week. And every day I make that left turn, a convoy of cars make the right turn so I never thought anything of it. And because I’m at that intersection almost every day, the traffic signs are just a part of the scenery. Of course the one day I need to turn right, there’s a cop perched waiting for the aforementioned convoy to make that right turn. I saw the cop but didn’t think anything of it because I didn’t know the turn was illegal, and on this day, that convoy was a van in front of me (which didn’t get pulled over) and me. I mentioned before that at first I was mad; was, in the past tense. I got over it quickly because I thought about it in the grander scheme and in terms of the natural order of things.
It first hit me when I thought back to a couple weeks away when Combat Jack and I were talking about the Air France flight that crashed into the Pacific.
This seems like the perfect time to take a sidebar and apologize for not posting in a min. I’ve been working on moving CJ’s site off of Blogger and onto our own hosted platform. The new Daily Mathematics site is going to be an ambitious undertaking (we’ll start off small) and I’ll be contributing my tech and quill skills to the new Daily Maths. Barack’s Alter Ego has suffered I guess because I haven’t multi-tasked as well as I’m capable. Now back to the story.
CJ said that Air France officials were saying that the plane went down because of turbulence. I told him about the time I was on my own flight to Paris years ago when we hit turbulence that shook the shit out of the plane and the pilot. The pilot screamed -voice cracking and all- at the flight attendants to get to their stations. The turbulence was so bad that the food service stuff from the back of the plane was flying all over the place and finding its way into the main cabin. People on the plane were crying and praying out loud. We were losing altitude and it felt like a rollercoaster stomach wrenching freefall, for what may have been 10 minutes or 15 minutes or may have only been 5. People were literally saying their goodbyes. Sitting there alone, like a spectator to all the chaos around me, I realized that I was shook when I felt a bead of sweat run down my calf. So I did my own silent prayer and quietly accepted that “the end” was coming at any moment. And because that rollercoaster stomach wrenching freefall was lasting too long, I was getting pissed that it wouldn’t “just get it over with”.
Obviously, we didn’t crash. In the blink of an eye, what felt like an eternity of crazy turned to peace and all was well as we climbed back into the sky. As we finally got off the plane, amidst people planting kisses on terra firma, someone mentioned “Final Destination” – the movie about a group of teenagers who escape death from a plane crash but spend the rest of the movie actively trying to escape death because death was their true destiny.
Flashforward to Friday: While I’m still pissed about my traffic ticket, I remembered how happy I’d been as I climbed into my car because I’d escaped getting a parking ticket despite being parked on the wrong side of the street. I’d actually lucked out on a parking ticket a few weeks earlier too. The cost of those tickets would have been more than my traffic ticket. And then I realized: not only did I escape those two parking tickets, but I drove down Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, blasting Guns N Roses ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ when I drove past the cops. I was asking for it. The natural order of things can be in disarray for only so long. And then I remembered reading about the woman who escaped death by missing the Air France flight that crashed in the Atlantic but then died in a car crash last week. And then I remembered reading about the dude who left his job at Merril Lynch’s World Trade Center offices on Sept 10th, 2001 (many of his colleagues perished) but was on American Airlines Flight 587 which crashed on its way to the Dominican Republic on November 12, 2001.
Then I realized that yeah, ticket is a pain in the ass, but it’s petty. And I really just need to slow my roll lest I upset the balance in natural order of things.