April 23, 2004 | 13 Comments
I may be taking my vows as a Catholic priest by this time next week.
Yesterday a colleague was telling me about her son’s English assignment.
“Life is like a roller coaster . . . .” he had written, but the teacher told him to do it over again because the assignment wasn’t about similes.
“What’s that other thing that’s like a simile?” she asked. “A metaphor?” I guessed.
She agreed, and began rattling off examples of some of the “Life is . . . ” metaphors she and her son had reeled off together the night before. My mind wandered as I listened and my eyes roamed over my desk.
My desk is messy now. So messy that a big flatbed scanner is lost somewhere under all of the papers. But somehow I noticed, buried in all that clutter, a tiny scrap of paper — from a fortune cookie I had eaten probably three months ago. It said:
“Although it feels like a roller coaster now, life will calm down.”
I’m not a superstitious man, but my life has not been calm lately and that evil little piece of paper has lottery numbers on the back of it. There’s a New York Lotto drawing tomorrow and the jackpot’s $35 million. That would calm me down some.
But so would eternal life, so I won’t do this for the money.
If I get one number right, I’ll become a Unitarian. (Wouldn’t have to change anything).
Two, a reform Jew. (I could still keep the blog).
Three, an agnostic. (I could write for the Volokh Conspiracy).
Four, a Protestant. (Back to where I started).
Five, a Baptist. (I’m already crazy anyway).
Six, a Catholic Priest. (If they’ll have me).
Just so this is all verifiable, here are the numbers:
16, 17, 20, 23, 26, 38.
I know God does not like to be tested. But I don’t like to be teased with fortune cookies. And it’s really not a test, since, as I said, I’m not doing it for the money.