Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Black Hole at Fig Garden: blondes on webcam & friends to bump into

About a mile from here there is a time warp...maybe a black hole.

I once saw a bumper sticker, "Welcome to Kansas: Please Turn Your Clocks Back Fifty Years."

But tripping a mile north from here is a trip.
As soon as my Toyota (which has been known to time-travel, avid readers (all two of you) will remember) enters the "fuzzy set" border of Fig Garden Village Shopping Center, it seems it and I have lost fifty years.

It's not (just) because I occasionally haunted the same shopping center almost fifty years ago as a kid.

It's more to do with it being the upscale "old rich" center to be seen. At least it was fifty years ago, and still can be today, even though the newer place to be seen has inevitably moved north (Fresno locals don't even have to click this link to know the name of it). It's the older guard, the older money, the older people who still prefer it...some over-fifty folk have been pilgrimaging there for fifty. But nowadays there's a time-transcending mix and mashed-up mileu to the culture there.

Having had to postpone a meeting at St. Arbuck's, I grabbed my drink anyway, as I now had time for a quick walk/tour/spy around the center; not quite Hansen-ish 'wandering prayer,"
but a curious, "I'll just walk around a bit, I'll bet there'll be something for me to see; something to learn...or someone you are supposed to run into."

I didn't want to see what I saw next.

I overheard..I "over-saw it."

As I was positioned in that no-man's land/trainman's land of
"Waiting for them to call your name at Starbuck's, but not certain where to stand while waiting, so you don't look like an exhibitionist or voyeur."
(come on, you can know the feeling)...

I saw her.

A smiling, beautiful blonde woman.

I felt like this was "Uncle Ernie at Uncle Harry's" all over again!!
(deja vu in a time wild).

But I discreetly glanced again.

She was not really in the coffeeshop.
She could have been anywhere in the world.
In fact, i am pretty sure she was speaking an Eastern European language..

...over the webcam, to the computer of the delighted young man, sitting alone, at his table,
atttentively at his computer.

Whether this was a soft webcam-sex encounter, or something else (gee, could have been a
cross-continental prayer meeting, for all I know...Dave, get your mind out of the gutter and into the adventure of this spywalk!), I don't know.

It did seem like he was speaking back in the same language.
I pretended not to look one more time as I looked one more the barista called my name, as my drink was ready.

And I set off on my walkabout, pondering how that whole weird technology in public encounter itself was a microcosm of my bizarre journey into the timewarp.

If I were in Cambria, I would have thought that webcammed computer was a portal into the Vortex.

(And now that I am posting this, I decided to do a quick googling to see if anyone else had written about time travelling at Starbuck's)

But I sensed something else...more profound was to encounter me.
God would surely teach me something..

Maybe I would meet someone we need Jesus, money, me...or all three; it would be a God-encounter....I almost grabbed my cell-phone camera, as if poised to record history as it happened.

Three words came to mind:

I don't want to blog what happened next.
Which is why I will.

As I wandered and wondered my way into a familiar store,
there she was.

Not on webcam.
Live, in person, in line in the store.

The very person I wanted to see...or not.
I don't know why I was avoiding returning her phone call.
That question, which I was forced to face, suddenly came front and center to me.
In lightning speed, in fact in a time-freeze, I processed some deep self-awareness, and submitted to myself several reasons.

None of them valid.

It's not like she was an enemy, a critic...or someone who had left the church, left me, ormade me feel uncomfortable.

So i did what (I assume was) the right thing after I did what (may have been) the wrong thing.

After ducking out of the store (:
....I called her on my camera-phone, which as you will remember, I was already fingering for a quick-draw.

It was a God-thing.

Not what or who I was expecting.
But now, as a result, some ministry plans are getting in place,
things that might not have been Butterfly-Effected if I had not been in the right place..

at the right time.

...Even if that time was fifty years or so ago.

It felt good, and Kairotic....even though I was a bit unsettled by my self-learning crash-course...and a bit disequilibrated (like 14-year old Icarus' return trip) upon re-entry from Fig Garden-Warp into Flatland Fresno.

My tin time machine, with green tea latte in the holder, left the center of the shopping center, and headed for the border.

As with any thin-space, liminal-space, manuever out of a Fig Garden Vortex/Black hole back into the present future, there was twinge of sadness...and a holy expectation.

As usual, there was an almost palpable sense of passing through the border back to the real world..and real time; my time.

But I remembered that I-- fifty year old wanderer-- would return later that day..same (?) place, different time....for that reschedule.

Hmmmmmmm..Maybe that 3:33 pm (!!) appointment will cancel again,
I dreamed out loud..
PS (or a prequel):

i recently read on Ryan's Facebook status a confession that he has been known to travel 17 miles from his home and office up north, just to grab a Burrito at Chipotle, Fig Garden. Maybe I'll meet him there sometime...I only have to travel 1 mile and 5o years to make the same trip.

In the meantime (Greenwich), and until next time... I'll watch this actual video of
folks walking in two places @one time...

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