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I Believe In Metaphors (You Sexy Thing) (about Jeffskla)

"Hand Of God" Table (click to buy a metaphor)

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Do I believe in God? Not in the Western sense.

I believe that there are many paths you can follow in life, only a few of which are "right" for you, and there is something, which I will call God, that can help guide you towards your best path. The following story may illustrate:

When I was in my early 20's, my friend and I were looking for a new place to live in Los Angeles, since the couple we were rooming with was getting married and wanted to live on their own. We focused our search on roommate situations since rentals were expensive and scarce. My friend and I were a bit eccentric, so finding compatible roommates was not easy. We told one prospect that we liked to do goofy things like dress up in tuxedos for no particular reason, and he related back that he and his friends liked to occasionally throw bricks through car windows. We kept lowering our roommate standards until we interviewed with Ron, a wealthy man in his 50's who lived in one of the poshest condo complexes in Westwood. Fully naked and stroking himself, Ron regaled his current lifestyle of free basing and sex parties, which, according to him, included stars like Ann-Margret and Ryan O'Neal. Instead of running for the hills like we should have, we explained that we weren't into cocaine or bisexual orgies, and he said that was cool, so we settled on a move-in date. We had ignored our instincts because we had little time left to find a place to live, and this one was pretty dreamy (Ron was paying for most of it). I had an additional motive, which was to get Ron to invest in my big dream of starting a revival movie theater.

My friend and I loved the movies. We had worked as ushers and projectionists in several movie theaters around Los Angeles, got to privately preview movies the night before they opened, took full advantage of our open passes to any movie theater in Westwood, frequented many art and revival theaters, and watched marathon after marathon of videos (on a Betamax!) while subsisting on chocolate-covered PayDay's and Mountain Dew. I was even working on a movie script and had forged some minor industry connections. But it was my goal of all goals to open up a revival theater where we could build a community of like-minded movie enthusiasts through a unique mix of creative bookings, eclectic entertainment, and alcohol. We had found a beautiful theater for rent in Manhattan Beach, which seemed to make the dream much more palpable for me. I had no idea how to start a business, but put my naive mind to work on various schemes to finance it. One such stunt, I'm ashamed to admit, involved traveling to visit my grandmother for the sole purpose of asking her to lend me the investment principle that she lived on (which she thankfully declined giving to me to lose). I was so desperate, stupid, and over-the-top passionate about starting a revival theater that I would have compromised my "virtue" if I thought it would get me any closer that goal. In subsequent meetings with Ron, he made it clear that hardcore sex and drugs were all he thought about, and that he had no honorable intentions about us, but I was so hell-bent on my dream that I was not going to pass up any opportunity to realise it voluntarily. The stage was perfectly set for me to risk throwing away my life, but if there is a God, this is where s/he stepped in.

On the day we were to move-in, my friend and I decided to fully explore the new complex while Ron was out getting duplicate keys made. It had a lush interior--indoor streams and waterfalls, full work-out facilities with a sauna and hot tub, and a beautiful common area with gaming tables. On a whim, my friend walked up to a poker table and said "hey, I wonder if there's something under this" and proceeded to lift the table top. Lo and behold, there was a bumper pool table underneath, and we decided right then and there that we must play immediately. Alas, there was no equipment visible to play, so we flagged down one of the security guards and asked him where we could find the stuff. He didn't know there even was a bumper pool table, let alone if there was any equipment for it, but suggested that we try the complex manager. At this point, we knew there was probably no equipment, but we decided to find and talk to the manager anyway, if for no other reason than to lodge a complaint about not being able to use the hidden bumper pool table. We got lost several times trying to find the manager's office, but undauntedly kept asking people until we found it--seemingly on some random floor in some unusual location. We entered and came face-to-face with the typical scary manager lady (every apartment I've ever lived in had one). The conversation went something like this:

"We were wondering if there's any equipment to play the bumper pool table downstairs?"

"Who the hell are you?"

"We're Ron's new roommates."

"Ron isn't allowed to have roommates."

"Huh?"

"Ron signed an agreement that does not permit him to share his lease. He is in violation of that agreement. I will have a talk with Mr. Ron. In the meantime, you should get the hell out of here."

And, thus, we were saved. We were saved by a demon from Hell, apparently sent by God.

Of course, those are just metaphors, but I do believe it was something more than dumb luck. Sure, we probably would have found out about this policy eventually, but we also might have snuck around it. Instead, it happened at precisely the last possible moment where we could bow out without any disrespect or other awkwardness, all due to a string of improbable events and circumstances. I'm not necessarily saying that it is something mystical--it could be a combination of social mechanics, subconscious behavior, random happenstance, and Higgs boson interactions--just not dumb luck. But the story doesn't end there--God immediately punished us.

The next day was also our last in the current apartment, and we soon found ourselves on the streets with no place to live. We couldn't afford the high cost of a hotel, so we decided to spend most nights in my small car (a Datsun B210), while searching for a new living arrangement. But that's not much of a punishment, is it, so God tossed in a terrible storm. It doesn't rain much in LA, but it poured and thundered and got unusually cold for 2 straight weeks. After a few days of this, I came down with the flu. Vomiting and running a very high fever in my car on the streets of LA at 3am or so, I swore to God that I would never consider selling my Soul for personal gain again. It was the lowest point in my life, which I thought would never end, and I did believe in a traditional, Western God at that particular moment. My friend and I broke down and found an ultra cheapo motel with weekly rates (complete with cockroaches) after that, I got better, and we found a wacky, but suitable, living arrangement. But that, my friends, is another story for another time. Meanwhile, I will continue to keep my promise to God, because I know from experience that this metaphor can pack one Hell of a wallop.

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