Alle effing ujah! There may have been no fog in the Bay since I arrived but I think it has been gathering in my head! The last two days have been pants. Not totally, of course, I am sooo grateful for being in America but I have been a bit of a grump and was busy trying to shake it off. The remnants of the shaking (last nights carrot cake) was etched on my face for most of the day; wheat intolerance comes back and bites me on the bum and I look like an insomniac, puffer fish! I kept up with the praying though, hoping I’d feel something today, something good and for the clouds to skiddadle. What was to come had me tickled pink.
I messed around for about an hour, wasting time trying to get my car rental as near to the $20 a day mark as I could. I played a rental company off another and got them down to $22, not bad I thought.
After lunch of my ‘soup of the month’, split pea and veggies, a helping of kale chips and some crunchy popadoms, I grabbed my dog-eared map and set out to find Enterprise Rental Cars. An hour later I am calling them to rescue me from walking up and down Van Ness, searching for their green and black sign. Whilst enroute I had been mulling over (kicking myself) the recent dawning of the conclusion that I have been an ass for changing my name. I missed my old one and have been just as confused as to what to call myself as I was before. Exasperating, I know. I have to live with my actions. This bed I’ve made to lie in has particularly prominent springs! So, wtf, I am chasing this annoyance around in my mind like a marble on a ship’s deck, when I find the cross street I have been searching for and the car dealership Enterprise were doing business from. I was struck dumb, it was the same name I’d been born with, coupled with the middle name I had played with for a year, prior to officially transforming into India-leigh (a long story, and rather complicated). My eyes looked up to the sky between the skyrise blocks and I shook my head.
The showroom was a vast space, filled with glossy, expensive cars. I drooled over a white, convertible Merc, with a berry red and white interior. One of the sales guys approached me. His hair was so neat; facial hair so perfectly trimmed and his shirt and tie looked like he’d just put them on, fresh from the cleaners. He reminded me of my Dad, so spruced up and groomed (he managed to look like that even when he was wearing overalls and splattered with paint). ‘Anything I can do for you today ma’am’ he said. He was so nice, I warmed to him instantly. ‘Yes, I’d like to find Enterprise please’. He gave me detailed instructions where by I could access the upper floors. ‘Anything else?’, he smiled at me. I beamed at him and motioned to the white Mercedes I had eyed up. ‘Yes, I wish I could buy that car’. He upped the ante, telling me it suited me and then opened the door for me like it was a golden carriage. I slipped down into the seat and I held the wheel. I did look good in it, I wanted it so bad. ‘There, told you so’, he smiled at me. I promised him, if I ever had the money I would come back and buy it, so he handed me a card. His name, not kidding, was Jesus! Jesus then leaned up against a cabinet and told me the story of how he got his name. Back in the forties, his mum had boarded a small plane from Puerto Rico, heavily pregnant. During the flight she went into an early labour and Pan Am had to make a diversion onto US soil to get her to a hospital. Jesus was born, healthy and safe in the skies above a military base, before the wheels could hit the runway. This immediately gave him US citizenship, enabling him to return in his teens and make it his home. Whilst he is going into all the detail I am adoring him, charmed by his enthralling storytelling. I encouraged him to tell me more. He told me that when he had grown up a little he one day asked the question, ‘Mamma, why did you call me Jesus?’, she answered, ‘son, you were born in the sky, and that was the closest you could be to God!’. I melted. How sweet! To cap it all, not only did he have a blessed name, Pan Am, until their demise in 1991, gave him the key to the skies. Free flights for life! He said he would just hop on planes and fly wherever he wanted. Amazing. I wanted to sit and listen to him all day.
I have a ‘works in progress’ ,a postcard project I am developing, the idea of which is not fully yet apparent, but I am passing out pictorial postcards to people and asking them to write, either questions I pose or whatever they feel on the back so I can share with whoever wants to read my blog, the people I met on my travels. I humbly, asked Jesus if he would honour me with being part of my project. I fanned out the cards, face down, and he picked one. Just previous to this he had entertained me with another story about his grandmother (one which I hope he is going to write on the card and hand back to me when I return my car). Imagine our faces when he flips the card to see a black and white photo of a lady with a whole lot of life etched on her face! ‘She is just like my grandma’, he proclaimed. We chuckled and concluded that it was meant to be and he would write of the heartwarming story of his grandmother, and a pay it forward tale that spanned two generations. I hope you get to read it someday and see the face of Jesus on my Postcard blog (not the real one of course, well, not that I know of!).
A weird, amazing, wonderful encounter with a vaporizing effect on the fog that had been in my head.
I was animated and jolly, giggling to myself at my blessings as I drove my car in the direction of Marin, over the span of the Golden Gate bridge. I had just needed to make a move. Getting out of the city was what I had been craving, I’d just been too bloody tight to hire the car any earlier. Silly woman, when will I learn? Anyway, Happy is back in residence and I have a car and keys to freedom this weekend. Yippee! Redwoods the ocean and God knows what else awaits . Amen.