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The nature of things

I’m no scientist. Only a daily observer of the way things seem to be, at least for me.

There's irony in it, as if the Universe is saying something, though I’m not sure what, but I’m pretty sure I am a plaything for its amusement.

The saying “You can wait all day for a bus and then three come along at once,” from when dinosaurs and buses both roamed the roadways, sums it up and is proof that the Universe has been up to these tricks for some time.

Could it be that the Universe just gets bored with us and likes to flex its sense of humor?

Often it feels like a time-thwart: I am trying to get somewhere, but the Universe has other ideas, and throws a wrench or two down at me to watch the ensuing hilarity. It can feel like I’m in the common dream of trying to run up a down escalator.

An example: Let’s say I’ve kind of waited all morning and half of the afternoon expecting an important call. Finally deciding that my list of errands isn’t going to do itself, I’m headed out the door, hands and arms loaded with garbage, recycling, the annual pre-paid sample cup of fresh dog poo for testing at the vet, several items to be returned to stores, a water bottle for hydration, and am fumbling with keys to lock the door. Without fail, this will be the precise moment the Universe chooses to make my cell phone ring.

The full fecal cup is the first thing I let fly as I struggle to take the call.

Ms. Universe peers down at me, rocks back laughing in her chair and records a Win.

Or, backing out of the driveway, onto our residential neighborhood street, where no car nor pedestrian has passed for the previous 6 hours, when <enter stage left> out of nowhere appears a lumbering car or truck -- timed to pass my driveway exactly at the moment of potential impact.

You almost have to admire the exactitude of the timing. Credit awarded to the Universe.

My little plan one day involved two stops: drop my husband off at his appointment, and then meet my daughter at hers. I silently congratulate myself on how efficiently I’d folded these two overlapping commitments into one another, calmly made the first drop-off and head to the next destination with ten minutes to spare, thankful that I have time for these meetups.

Maybe my silent “thank you” alerted the Universe to a ten-minute gap in frenetic action.

The Traffic Coordinator on High looks around, says “Hey, we got any leftover interference that needs deployment? I’m reading a ten-minute opening on Jaeckel in Quadrant 4261?”

Because at that moment my cell phone rings, and it’s my daughter announcing that her car, strangely, won’t start. Since I am no mechanic, I suggest calling AAA, and as nice-to-do becomes need-to-do, turn around and drive in the opposite direction to go fetch her, have her call to apologize, enroute, for our unintended lateness, attend her appointment, double back and return her to her office, then bounce back for husband pick-up.

“How’d I do, Universe?” as I leap over the imagined net and take the point for that set.

Often the Universe includes our pets in the little mock plays she sets up for her amusement.

Like the day I was, again, trying to get out the door for an appointment and things were going well, which I am learning not to count on. (It used to infuriate me how my mother would always say “We’ll see” to things we had planned. Now I understand. Listen to Your Mother.)

Universe: "Ha! I see you’ve gone and made yourself a little plan, eh? Well we’ll see

about that!" <rhythmically taps fingertips together>.

My cell phone rang and my instinct is ugh, whyyyy right NOW?? Running down the stairs to front door I looked at the ringing phone and saw the nursing home number where my 93-year-old mom lived. Grabbing my coat I stepped toward the front door and saw our little dog Rosie looking up at me, I swear, making… a face.

The phone continued its insistent ringing. Precisely as I answered the call from the nursing home I noticed — just before taking another step forward into — a fresh doggie dump on the floor next to the front door.

Thankfully, the nursing home call was routine, I scoop the poop, clean the floor, finish the call, wash my hands, and run out the door, ten minutes late for my appointment.

Evidently, I’d advanced to a higher level of difficulty, the Universe had upped the ante in this game of Time Wrenches.

The Universe and I agreed to call it a tie for this round, knowing full well there will be others.


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Katherine Rabinowitz
Katherine Rabinowitz
Jan 20, 2022

Is there anyone on the planet who hasn't experienced something similar at least once in their life? :)


Jan 19, 2022

The Universe and I agree that Rosie is one of the cutest dogs of all time

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