For karma, I tip each time I buy lottery tickets. It’s given me so many interesting moments with random clerks at convenience stores. If I have a winning ticket, I try to donate a bit more. The lottery is a fool’s game, one which tricks us into miscalculating the realistic odds of winning. That’s part of the reason I like it. In my heart, there’s not a day that passes that I don’t consider how many against-the-odds things I’ve experienced. It not only amplifies my gratefulness for still being here, but it also reminds me that almost everything that turns out to be magical sounds ridiculous to the reasonable mind. Harry Potter? Not publishable. Haruki Murakami? He had a moment like I did, except in his, he realized he was going to be a writer. Demetri Martin? On his way to being one of the best legal minds in the world and just decided that comedy was his passion.
I sometimes find myself contemplating writing a book based solely on the stories that clerks share with me after I tip them and share my karma theory with them. Most of them realize that I will follow through on my promise to give them a million dollars if I hit the jackpot.
A couple of places in Springdale had clerks who knew me and knew I was going to tip them. I miss the surprised looks on their faces when they saw me walking in. I’m certain they are wondering what happened to the tip-for-karma guy.
Springdale feels like another country to me now. I miss it, especially after having walked 1,000 miles on its streets in the last year. I know Jim at the produce stand is wondering what happened to me. As is Güino, my tuxedo cat.
Lately, I’ve mentioned a couple of times that there’s a clerk here near my apartment in Fayetteville who resisted accepting tips. Now, she smiles, knowing I’m going to leave the money on the counter, whether she accepts it or not.
The last time I went in, I said, “tee-me lie kas-to chaw.” I don’t speak Nepali. But I spoke enough, that day.
As I left her the tip, she smiled.
I’m not sure there’s a value in knowing that I made a human connection.
We all miss the place we call home in our hearts.
A few words of memorization for me. And a gong in her head hearing the words.
Is karma real? I don’t know.
But I heard the gong as it sounded.