People often write and ask if the stories in Outrageous Openness are true. And I say that though I changed names or sometimes blended two people's circumstances to protect identity, every event is real. I could never have the imagination to create anything as good as what Reality dreams up if you're willing to pay attention and take a note or two.
Like yesterday. I stopped at a random jeweler to replace a dead battery on a favorite pretty watch. The guy turned out to be an ancient European Jew (who spoke in a heavy Yiddish accent just like my Zede) in an old tiny shop. He started joking around the minute I walked in.
"So vhy you abuse dis watch to make battery die?' he asked.
'Oh yes, every day I throw the watch on the ground!" I laughed.
"Vell, at least you don't throw at people!"
'Well sometimes I throw it at cars.'
"Vell den you should throw at da rich people's cars,' he smiled.
Wow. That made me pause.
"Why?" I asked.
"Zhey don't make you angry?" he said.
"Why?" I was laughing but truly curious. " How do you know I'M not rich?"
"You?" He rolled his eyes dramatically . "I see dat beat-up Prius. No Prada, no Gucci. YOU? YOU'RE not rich." He was almost having a fit of giggles.
Then it just popped out. "But honestly I always feel I am, " I confessed. "If you know that God will always bring what you need, then you're rich. If you don't then you're not. It's definitely NOT what's in the bank."
"You a little meshuga' he answered, scratching his beard and peering at me. 'But....very, very interesting!! Today I tink on dis. Zei Gezunt!"
And he smiled, handing me back my fixed watch.
But here's the kicker. I walked out the door, inwardly thanking the Divine for the conversation. And then no joke. THIS license plate drove by too fast to snag a picture: