On any given day, my faith in karma will either be high or near immeasurable. I suppose it depends on mood, time of day, how kind the shuffle on the ipod. But for the most part, I believe that things we do that are deemed to garner good karma are nothing more then good decisions. That, when faced with an either-or decision, doing the right thing can set off a gentle chain reaction of good vibes. I feel these good vibes (what Kevin calls energy) are mildly contagious. Contagious insomuch as they act as grease for paying shit forward. While the moments immediately preceding these decisions can be felt coming, there is rarely time to dwell upon them once they hit. They are immediate snap judgments that occur as if on auto-pilot. Which is why riding the aftershock is so pleasurable.
I had just gotten off the #45 one stop too early: on the corner of Baker & Filbert. I needed to head towards Chestnut & Lyon gates of the Presidio, and inwards to dinner at Pres a Vie. But I didn’t know the #45 would hook a left onto Filbert and take me even closer. But so what? I had Peace Orchestra thumping in my ears and it was a gorgeous fucking day to walk the remaining 3 blocks.
No sooner after heading up Filbert towards the late afternoon golden, did I see a familiar-shaped piece of paper on the ground, half-wedged under a garage door. Leaning down to pick it up confirmed it as a personal check. Turning it over confirmed the arrival of those moments just prior to making one of those great decisions. Here I was holding a personal check hand-written out to one Victoria Ford Greeley, in the amount of $4000.
As if on cruise control, I began to go thru the motions of inspecting the check, inspecting the ground from where it came, again inspecting the check, looking around for anyone either watching me pick it up or looking like its owner. I’ll admit that for a split second, my mind danced at the notion of starting the month of July $4000 wealthier. But this wasn’t cash. This wasn’t supposed to be here. And most importantly, this wasn’t mine.
The check lacked a Payor name, but there was the address of 2900 Baker Street, San Francisco. Looking up at the corner street sign, I was 2 doors away. The right thing suddenly because as easy as alerting someone that they’d just dropped their hat. Now, I actually wished someone saw what was going on.
So here’s 2900 Baker Street, this rather large mansion on the corner of Baker & Filbert. Sweeping the wrought-iron gate & walking up the steps, I am wondering how this is going to appear to whoever opens that door. Do I leave it in their mailbox? Do I just stick it in the door sash? What if it blows away? What if the check doesn’t want to go home? Just ring the bell & knock the door.
Wait. Those old-school bass-chimes for a doorbell: bing-bing-bing-bong, bong-bong-bing-bing. Shadows & movement thru the heavy glass on the front door reveals an older woman in pearls. This is her home, and this is a strange sweaty man at her door. But she opens the door and in a suspicion tone, imparts that half-answer, half-question universal to strangers meeting strangers: “Yes?”
“Is this 2900 Baker Street?”
“I found this floating up the street” I said, holding up and handing the check to her,
And just like that, it registers between us what has just taken place. Her guard shoots down in a wash of wide eyes and a half-gasped “Thank YOU!” I know in the pit of my stomach that i’ve done the right thing.
And before I can telegraph what my mind & body are going to do next, I swivel around and slowly walk back down the steps, fishing for my earbuds.
“That was SO very nice of you!” she said quite louder then any of her past 4 syllables.
“YOU are VERY welcome” I replied as the cool groove of Peace Orchestra came back up & over me.