Ever have one of those Sliding Doors moments in life? You know, a seemingly inconsequencial pass/fail event occurs where depending on the outcome, your life could split down two parallel yet, wildly divergent paths? Feels like I had not one but TWO of those moments just this morning… One of them would have been pretty damn significant, the other a little less so, but these are the types of thoughts that come to my mind when one is heavily caffinated…
Sliding Door #1: To Hit the Cop Car or to Not Hit the Cop Car? That is the Question.
So I’m driving my wife Jaime to work north on Halsted street here in Chicago. It’s raining, but not the good solid rainstorm you kinda appreciate on a hot day, but the miniscule, pitter-patter of light rain that is just enough to smear the windshield but not splash right off of it. (BTW, it’s June 1 and below 50 degrees…yet it’s 80 degrees in March?? Unreal.) So, at this point on Halsted, we are approaching a bridge that is cut down to two lanes on just one half of it, and this huge 18-wheeler in front of us decides to turn off to the right just before reaching it. I, being the experienced Chicago driver of 12+ years, take the opportunity to curl around the turning truck in the Left Turn lane to continue North… when in the blink of an eye, one of Chicago’s Finest in a huge SUV decided at that exact time to blindly speed thru the crossing intersection!
Since this post is not being written from the back of a squad car with a very pissed off lady cop in a neck brace, I fortrunately braked just in time to avoid colliding with her and she actually apologized and amazingly enough just waved me through! Now could you imagine how different my day would have been if our vehicles had kissed bumpers?
Would I have gotten a ticket? What if I couldn’t go to work that day and while waiting for a ride home I go across the street and buy a lotto ticket that hits the jackpot? Or I get back home in time to find Crazy Face Eating Zombies roaming the lobby of my building??
Sliding Door #2: My Two Cents
Now the second one isn’t nearly as significant as a car accident, but still made me wonder What If? Right before I drove into work, I decided to get some gas before the weekend and Fridays are ALWAYS the day gas stations jack up the price. So when I see that the price is at $3.87, I decide to take the bird in the hand and fill up at that price. (Side bar: I completely remember getting gas while in Champaign when it hit the inconceivable price of $2/gallon and being amazingly upset and beside myself… If I ever go back in time I’m straight up slapping Young Lenny, tell him shit could be much worse, and to bet heavily on the Giants to win the 2012 Super Bowl)
Where was I? Oh right, birds in hands…. very hard to do. Lots of flapping and beaks are sharp… (Editor’s Note: Leonard went on for 10 more paragraphs on birds before getting back to his point) So after I put in my card and start pumping that happy car juice, this horrible grating screech of a sound goes straight into my ears. As I look around to find the source, I discover its the giant price display on the Thorntons sign and the price is changing! Aha! I beat you at your own game Big Oil! You may get all these other schmucks to pay $4.50 a gallon, but not the son of Leonard Gore Sr., no sir! $3.87 BABY! *MIC DROP* Now it was about 3 seconds before I was about to start doing the Dougie when I finally noticed the price dropped 2 cents to $3.85.. ouch. Ok, its not like I had just missed out on free gas or anything, but it got me thinking. I missed the price drop by maybe no more than 10 seconds, so I paid like 30 cents more for the same gas. So what if that 30 cents later was the difference in getting an overdraft charge when Jaimene buys clothes later? And then it leads to financial ruin that has us ending up eating bath salts and sharing a face buffet with that bum in Miami??? I’M NOT DOING THAT AGAIN, THE GUY ATE ALL OF THE NOSE AND DIDNT SHARE!
Anyway, the point of all this I think is to say we cant conceive of all the infinite possibilities our choices can create, and that is truly a blessing. Dwelling on what could have been would literally take forever; there are no do-overs, no resets, and no takesy backsies in life! So whether you catch that train and meet the love of your life, or you miss the train and end up going home and naming your kid Apple, just remember: Whatever Happens, Happens.
Was going to post this yesterday, but then some Taliban fighters who must have been trained by Benny Hill tried to storm the Marine base my brother works at in Afghanistan and got there asses handed to them. Marines 14 – Tally Me Bananas 0. He’s ok, and hes going to have one happy brother waiting for him when he gets back home!